Tag Archives: online grocery shopping

Groceries Delivered & Put-Away in Your Home?

According to a recent posting on techcrunch.com, Walmart has announced that it will begin testing a new service that will allow customers with August smart home devices, like the August doorbell and security cameras, to have their packages and groceries delivered inside their home instead of left on the doorstep. Grocery orders won’t just be placed inside the house like the packages, but will be put away in the fridge and freezer, when appropriate.

The retailer says it will soon start this test in the Silicon Valley area with select customers who have opted into to try the new service.

Sounds like continuous process improvement and the trend toward innovative customer service continues!

Read the full story…

Online Store “Made Easy” for Supermarkets

“We make it easy to take your grocery store online,” says Indemand a San Francisco-based plug and play platform for building an on-demand store or service.

According to the company website, their platform allows anyone to set up their own on-demand store without the need for any technical expertise. Customers can customize their solution, and also take advantage of a “mobile-first” solution.

While the service is available to “any” type of business, pricing plans for supermarkets range between $149 – $299 per month, plus a start-up fee and a per transaction fee.

 

Amazon “Pick-up” Stores Free for Some

According to a recent SupermarketNews article, Amazon has released information about new “click-and-collect” sites in Seattle.

Called “AmazonFresh Pickup,” the new concept will provide a full selection of grocery and household items available for online ordering and pickup, free to its Prime members.

The prototype sites are currently open only to Amazon employees. While Amazon did not specify any time-frames or plans, the article quoted an analyst at Wolfe Research, who said he expected Amazon will open as many as 30 such outlets this year.

In-store v. On-line Shopping?

33% of all grocery shoppers will shop online this year, according to a recent article posted on retailcustomerexperience.com, which shared data from the 2017 Grocery eCommerce Forecast from Unata and in partnership with Brick Meets Click.

The article notes that ‘egrocery’ is gaining greater consumer attention and 31 percent of shoppers are likely to order online, up from 19 percent last year.

The article also states that seventy-five-percent of shoppers will switch grocers if there is a better shopping experience to be had, and sixty-eight percent of shoppers who had shopped online the previous year are “somewhat” or “very” likely to switch to a grocer offering a better online shopping experience.

However, when looking at retail in total, a Modern Consumer survey shows that fifty-six percent of U.S. consumers prefer a brick and mortar shopping channel, and 93 percent of customer journeys involve multiple channels. The survey, which polled 1,000 U.S. shoppers, also revealed that over seventy-percent browse for products online before buying in a physical store, and only 10 percent of shoppers mainly shop online.

So while it seems that shoppers in general lean more toward the in-store buying experience, many more leverage on-line shopping in advance and an increasing number of grocery shoppers are trending toward the on-line experience, at least some of the time.

Should Supermarkets Partner for Fast Track to Online Sales?

In an effort to more easily ramp-up online shopping , some supermarkets have opted to partner with third-party service-providers like Instacart, Postmates and Google Express.

This option can make sense, especially when you consider the various processes involved and the time it might take to create and fine-tune them.

This perspective was expressed in a recent Retail Dive article,  which stated, “With deep knowledge of consumer analytics and logistics, these providers can quickly get products into the hands of customers — sometimes, in as little as one hour.”

But the article also raised a few good questions about brand loyalty and customer relationships…

Read the full article

BOPUS Machines?

A recent SupermarketNews article reported that in ongoing efforts to improve the online shopping and pickup process,  Wal-Mart is testing a massive storage locker at a store in Rogers, Ark., that can distribute packages to online shoppers “in the manner of a vending machine.”

Known as a BOPUS (buy online pick up in store) machine, the device is being tested a Walmart Supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas.

According to the article, the machine allows for automated distribution of online orders and works in conjunction with a kiosk previously installed at the Rogers store where online shoppers can alert the company when they’ve arrived to retrieve orders made online.

A spokesman told SN Friday that Walmart was testing the device as a means of storing items ordered for pickup, and providing faster service to shoppers. It allows for such shoppers to retrieve orders without the help of a store employee, potentially providing further convenience for the shopper and a more efficient solution for Walmart.

Seems like the online shopping trend continues to move ahead…

Online Food Shopping Trend Continues to Grow

A recent SupermarketNews article reported that three sizable supermarket chains are enhancing their e-commerce offerings.

Albertsons is offering an introductory special in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for a program that involves a strategic partnership with Tom Thumb.  Shoppers will receive $10 off and free delivery for the first order placed online or via a Tom Thumb delivery app, with orders arriving at households within one-hour delivery windows.

Supervalu also announced that the company has been testing three e-commerce providers at its retail banners in separate markets, and that home delivery and click-and-collect options will be available by the end of the year in 25% of retail stores, which is about 50 stores.

Harris Teeter also announced plans to expand its e-commerce offerings through grocery delivery service Shipt to the Charlotte, N.C. metro area.

Charlotte customers who sign up for an annual membership with Shipt prior to the launch on Oct. 26 will receive $25 off their first order. According to the article, Shipt membership costs $99 per year for unlimited deliveries; delivery is free on all orders over $35.

It seems the trend toward online shopping is continuing to grow. While the vast majority of grocery shopping still takes place in stores, industry experts predict this pattern may change during the next decades.

Data provided by Statista indicate that this year approximately five-percent of U.S. consumers prefer shopping for groceries online. The total U.S. online grocery sales amounted to about 7 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 and are expected to rise to 18 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.

Is This the Future for Supermarkets?

robotsWhile several of our posts have discussed the emerging trend toward on-line grocery shopping options, a recent SupermarketNews article might be giving us an interesting glimpse into the future!

According to the article, self-driving robots capable of delivering groceries or restaurant meals are now being used in several European countries, and are also being tested in Washington, D.C.

Starship Technologies, an Estonian technology company established in 2014 by the co-founders of Skype, have developed the robots, which as you can see above resemble six-wheeled buggies.  Apparently these robots are capable of delivering up to 20 pounds of food, packages and goods to consumers within a short radius of their point of origin.

“They’re cost efficient, particularly for the kinds of small deliveries food retailers often find the most expensive,” said Henry Harris-Burland, Starship’s marketing and communications manager.

According to the article, the technology could cut costs to pennies per delivery, and allow for the delivery of even a single item to be profitable. Customers can place their orders on-line or through a mobile app, and a robot is dispatched to deliver in as soon as 15 minutes.

While this might all seem a bit futuristic, it strikes me as another step toward trying to cater to consumers’ demand for convenience, and toward providing a better, more customized shopping experience.

Thoughts?

Instacart Expands North from Boston: Helping the Elderly…

Instacart is expanding to 17 new ZIP codes in Massachusetts according to a recent Boston Globe article.

The San Francisco-based company, which allows users to order groceries online for delivery in as little as an hour, said this trend toward online shopping can help “aging residents navigate the necessities of hometown living.”

The article went on to say Instacart currently has 7,000 active users in the Boston region, and hopes to more than double that number in the next year. The company also has about 100 employees and some 300 delivery contractors in the Boston area, with plans to hire up to 50 more contractors for the new expansion.

Customers can opt to pay $5.99 per delivery or frequent shoppers can pay $150 per year to waive all delivery fees.

Read the full article…

 

More “E’s” Coming to SupErmarkEts?

A recent SupermarketNews article reported that Super Foods, an independent operator in southwest Alabama, is launching an online grocery program, which is scheduled to begin in mid-August, according to the e-commerce provider.

Said Lillian Wilson, the retailer’s HR director, “Our customers have been asking for online ordering, and we’re pleased to be able to give it to them.”

The online offering will make available Super Foods’ entire inventory, with online prices that will always match in-store prices and a choice of curbside pickup or home delivery for what it called “a small fee.”  The chain is also building a mobile shopping app that will sync with online ordering, including a built-in bar code scanner that will let shoppers scan any item to add instantly to their shopping cart.

Along similar lines, in a recent Viewpoints editorial author Andrew Levi suggests that supermarkets might “cash in” by making each trip to the store more fun and “engaging” via some type of app like “Pokémon Go.”

As you may well be aware, the game launched earlier this month and has become quite a phenomena!

“It’s no wonder that retailers, advertisers and marketers are already beginning to explore how to capitalize on this momentum by using lure modules on a “Pokéstop” in the game to attract more users to a certain area, such as a store location, so there are more Pokémon to catch,” said Levi.

Looks like the “E” trend in grocery shopping is continuing!