Even for large grocery chains, expanding to eCommerce can be a difficult task. The grocery industry traditionally has been based on high volume sales offsetting a low-profit-margin. With this in mind, it can be challenging to squeeze earnings out of a situation in which a company must offer the same range of packaged and perishable goods online as in-store, and at the same price with low-to-no fees for personal shopper service and pickup or delivery.
Here are 5 Challenges you may face when adding eCommerce to your operations:
5 Challenges Of Expanding to eCommerce in Grocery
1. Making certain brick-and-mortar organizational operations are “parallel” with e-commerce processes, particularly by ensuring staff have both digital and retail skills.
- It can be challenging to take on eCommerce and you’ll need a staff that can help ensure the success of the new systems.
- Be sure to choose staff members that have experience with technology and can still work the floor.
2. Managing digital data sets to avoid discrepancies
One of the hardest adjustments to make when adding or switching to an eCommerce model is the technological aspect.
Be sure that you work with experts to create an efficient data management strategy. Having a strategy that works for you and is simple to implement, will make the switch easier on you and your staff.
3. Forecasting inventory needs to be done accurately by integrating online and offline information.
So, you switched to an eCommerce model, great, but how will you know what to keep in inventory?
It is safe to assume that a new online customer base will lead to the need for more product, but how do you track how much you’ll need?
Well, by taking notes and tracking the extra products you are selling, you can be better prepared with inventory, and save some money
4. Increasing insights about customers by bringing together retailer and manufacturer shopper insight data.
More Sale Platforms= More Customers = More Data. So, be ready to take on that challenge to better serve your customers. Even with the decline of interpersonal communication within the grocery industry, as the convenience of online shopping takes over, people still want to feel like they are known and being taken care of. Use your consumer data wisely.
5. Improving marketing via multiple online and offline channels
With eCommerce comes a bigger sphere of customers which means finding new ways to get to customers. This is where marketing strategy comes into play. With all the new online customers, you will need to adjust your marketing strategy to reach further. If you don’t have a current digital marketing strategy, it is best to come up with a plan before the launch of your eCommerce business.