Just as a large portion of retail sales has gone online, and we even see e-commerce businesses that solely sell through the web, online sales are becoming prominent in the food industry. This is the food shopping of the future, and it’s starting now. Consider these three reasons why your grocery store should think about adding online ordering.
1.) Keeping Up With Competition
It’s already a challenge to compete with major supermarket chains for in-person business, but competition is only getting worse. Customers are turning to online shopping, and grocery stores that ignore this arena will easily get left behind. In our digital world, your grocery store now competes with local grocers plus online food sellers and subscription box services. The industry is likely to change even more with the recent purchase of Whole Foods by Amazon, a company that forever altered the retail industry. Instead of losing business when local customers prefer online options, it’s important for small supermarkets to have an online presence.
2.) Considering Younger Generations
To plan for your business’ future, consider the up-and-comers – future generations. Current younger generations, including Millennials and Generation Z, want online options included in their grocery shopping experiences. Compared to older generations, Nielsen reports in its "The Future of Grocery" paper that these younger generations show much higher percentages of ordering food online to pick up on site, having food orders and subscription services delivered to their homes and using virtual supermarkets. Many more young people are willing to use these services. If grocery stores want to remain relevant as the world changes, they will need to cater to the needs of these generations instead of losing them to other options.
3.) Focusing on Convenience
In today’s modern world, people want convenient shopping. Nielson points out that convenience and shopping satisfaction aren't just about shopping online. Often, it’s about merging online and in-person experiences. People want to search for items online, compare prices and look for coupons either before shopping or in the store on their smartphones. They want to order something online and quickly pick it up at the store instead of waiting. They want smooth and hassle-free processes. Consider allowing shoppers to order certain items online before picking them up. For instance, they could order a sub from the deli and have it made by the time they arrive at the store. To implement online sales, grocers can focus on creating an interactive website and mobile experience, as well as an in-store system to facilitate online orders. For example, compartmentalized shelving carts can make it easy for store employees to collect items that were ordered online and prep them for the pickup time.
As more shoppers look online for grocery needs, supermarkets need to make sure they're found in that arena. If you provide an easy-to-use online experience that merges with a positive in-store experience, you can play up your local advantage over waiting to have less-fresh food shipped to the home.
Ready to take the plunge into online sales? Metro can help you configure a cart to help you pick, sort, store and transport orders faster and more efficiently. Contact your local representative today for more info!