As consumer preferences and expectations rapidly evolve, businesses must adapt their strategies to meet demand efficiently. Pickup and delivery services are two popular options, each offering distinct advantages. In this white paper, we will provide a comprehensive comparison of these two methods, focusing on factors such as managing customer expectations, creating a seamless customer experience, and improving the bottom line. By examining these elements, businesses will be better equipped to make informed decisions that will enhance their operations and meet customer demand. 

Exceeding Customer Expectations

Pickup offers customers the freedom to choose when and how they receive their purchases, a convenience that resonates strongly in today’s fast-paced lifestyle. By eliminating the need to schedule delivery windows and accommodate potential delivery delays or missed deliveries, pickup provides unparalleled convenience. Customers appreciate the ease of selecting pickup times that align with their busy schedules. A recent PYMNTS’ report revealed that pickup is preferred over delivery when receiving restaurant meals eaten off-premises. However, flawed pickup experiences with long wait times will likely result in customers opting for an alternative next time. 

In contrast, delivery services may be convenient for some customers who prefer doorstep delivery without the need to physically visit the store. Customers can even place orders from multiple stores or restaurants and have them delivered at the same time. Delivery marketplaces also serve as a powerful marketing tool, providing brand exposure to a wide user base and helping small businesses advertise themselves to new customers. However, the convenience of delivery comes with its challenges. The lack of control over delivery times can result in frustration, especially when unforeseen delays occur or if the customer is unavailable to receive their order. For restaurants, timing is critical. Delivery driver delays not only risk food quality, leading to potential waste and spoilage but also compromise the overall dining experience. 

Inadequate experiences with pickup or delivery services can significantly jeopardize customer retention. A single instance is all it takes for customers to consider their options. According to a study by Stellar Elements, a staggering 80% of customers contemplate alternatives after a single negative experience. 

Boosting Revenue and Driving Down Costs

Businesses have been driving sales and acquiring new customers through online channels for some time now, a trend that continues to gain momentum. Illustrating this growth, online sales hit a record high of $9.8 billion this past Black Friday, a 7.5% increase from the previous year. In addition to shipping and same-day delivery, many of these retailers are offering buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), as a way for customers to collect their orders more rapidly and avoid shipping fees and delays. For businesses, BOPIS is an ideal solution to facilitate quicker inventory turnover and encourage additional in-store purchases by drawing customers into the store.   

Additionally, integrating pickup options can provide significant cost savings for businesses, especially when considering the high fees and commissions often associated with delivery service providers. Delivery services, while convenient, can significantly impact a business’s expenses. Third-party delivery platforms typically impose fees that can vary widely, ranging from 15%-30%, and commissions on each order, reducing the profit margin for businesses. 

A recent PYMNTS report highlights the dining preferences of restaurant customers, revealing nearly half favor off-premises dining. Among these, an overwhelming 80% prefer pickup and only 9.5% opt for delivery. Cost is a significant factor in this preference, with 58% of takeout customers stating that they choose pickup to save on delivery fees.

Online sales hit a record high of

$9.8 billion

this past Black Friday
Among off-premise customers,


prefer pickup
Among takeout customers,


choose pickup to save on delivery fees

A Seamless Customer Experience

Offering pickup allows businesses to be in complete control of the entire customer journey, from the moment they place their order to the moment the final handoff. Additionally, customers have the opportunity to physically inspect and verify their purchases before leaving the premises, ensuring immediate satisfaction with purchases. Such an opportunity for direct engagement not only fosters customer satisfaction but also opens the door for businesses to engage in personalized interactions during pickup. These moments can be leveraged for upselling and cross-selling opportunities, which helps build strong customer relationships and promotes loyalty to the brand while boosting sales.

Delivery services provide ease and convenience by delivering purchases directly to customers’ doorsteps. However, relying on third-party delivery services can add an additional layer of complexity that may strain business operations – customers may face delays, missed deliveries, or receive damaged goods. The lack of face-to-face interaction limits the opportunity for personalized service or on-the-spot resolution of any issues.

Optimizing Customer and Delivery Driver Pickup

Providing multiple channels for pickup and delivery is necessary for your business. However, without a positive customer experience, you risk undermining the potential benefits. Flybuy helps retailers and restaurants optimize the pickup and delivery experience by providing staff with exact ETAs for both incoming  customers and delivery drivers, which ensures orders are prepared and ready for handoff upon arrival.

Flybuy’s direct integrations with major delivery service providers, including DoorDash, UberEats, and Postmates, allows a broad spectrum of delivery operators to connect to the Flybuy ecosystem and provide driver location updates to the store. After implementing Flybuy, businesses see a 90% decrease in avoidable wait time which drastically increases customer satisfaction and repeat orders.

“Knowing when the customer is arriving for a pickup order is one thing, but having insight into the journey of a delivery driver is a game changer for us.”


Businesses should offer pickup and delivery to cater to diverse customer preferences and maximize reach and revenue growth. The cornerstone of a successful strategy involves a deep understanding of your customers, optimizing costs, and leveraging technology solutions. Given that pickup presents a more cost-effective alternative for both customers and restaurants, it is imperative for businesses to implement a robust technology solution like Flybuy to create a seamless and delightful customer experience.