popd are primarily providing a convenient way to navigate directories interactively. In scripts,
cd is more often used.
As an interactive tool,
pushd gives the user feedback about the current state of the directory stack whenever a new directory is successfully pushed onto it. The
cd command is sometimes wrapped in a shell function (for interactive use only) that in the same way outputs the new directory whenever the current working directory is changed. The
r alias in
ksh shells, which repeats the most recently given command, also gives the user feedback in the form of echoing the actual command that is being executed.
All these small pieces of feedback are there to help the user navigate and just to generally ensure that they are doing what they think they're doing when working at an interactive shell prompt.