Seth Godin rightly said:
“Change is not a threat, it’s an opportunity.”
The world is transcending into an era where both people and businesses are evolving to re-invent existence. The Covid-19 pandemic has almost rocked the bottom of everything. Therefore, those who adapt as per the ‘new normal’ will be the ones to create legacies ahead.
Today, technology has taken center stage in re-shaping different industries. Food, music, travel, or even fashion have an altogether new landscape with innovative channels to connect with their customers. Even the most basic and most widely penetrated Grocery industry has been smitten and being re-invented.
Imagine you walk into a grocery retail shop, and at the entry is a QR code that you can scan on your smartphone. This will bring on your mobile screen the entire layout or product list in the store. Then all you need to do is pick your items into a virtual cart . After that you may bring your cart to the counter for billing. If you think this is a far-fetched thought, not anymore.
Grocery eCommerce has come up as an entire industry with new ways and means to supplement the user journey. Hence, retailers of grocery eCommerce are on an uphill track with technology facilitating the acceleration.
As per a BCG estimate, there is a $2.5 trillion opportunity for grocers who enter the so-called future first of expected becoming.
- Journey of the Grocery Store – A Walk through History
- Imperative Steps to Capitalize Gains as a Grocer in the Coming Times
- What’s the Future of Grocery e-commerce going to be like?
- Author’s Insight & Conclusion
Journey of the Grocery Store – A Walk through History
Let’s dates way back to somewhere in 1916. This is when the world witnessed its very first dedicated grocery store serving via the self-service model. The pioneer of this tendency is Tennessee’s Piggly Wiggly. This model opened doors to the concept of supermarkets offering a plethora of product categories under a single roof. Soon came the luxury of convenient home-delivery with online payments and smart stores. adding to the entire consumer experience as well as a new dimension to grocery shopping.
1. The Recent Disruption in the Grocery Industry
The future of grocery eCommerce depends characteristically on the transformations happening with the impact technology has throughout the industry. With the advent of online channels and modules, the legacy brick-and-mortar stores had to expand their consumer offering styles and patterns to meet the evolved audience.
2. A new consumer
New means to connect to the outside world appear every day which makes the world a smaller and closer-knit place. For example, global brands like Amazon and other grocery chains have brought out multiple models to change the way people shop for their everyday necessities.
By setting new trends, they have made everything available at the consumer’s doorsteps at prices that put the offline grocery retailers in a fix. The evolved consumer today is a mix of the millennials and generation Z.
Neighborhood grocery retailers have to now come up with means to meet expectations set by the new age demands and the big brand providers. For example, a health-conscious and aware consumer leads the entire ecosystem to an improved system.
3. Everybody’s a player – Emerging New Ecosystems
Since global players like Amazon, discounters like dollar stores and convenience stores started making their way into the grocery domain, markets changed. Resultantly, these have consumed a major chunk of the market shares, bringing online grocery business to the forefront.
The future of grocery eCommerce partly relies on the prices these biggies quote. The stage for grocery retail is thus a challenging one. Small-time local retailers need to understand why the revenues are dipping, and how to channel grocery eCommerce business to cover the gaps to revive revenues.
4. The Digital Deluge
The way digitalization gained momentum in the grocery business andd therefore paving the way for newer technologies to penetrate. Otherwise, this phenomenon puts the future of online grocery business on an altogether different path.
With international players launching online grocery business models providing seamless convenience at affordable costs, the offline grocers have to bring down their prices even though costs are still high.
This gap has brought strain on the brick-and-mortar grocery businesses, who have struggled to survive in a technology frenzy whirlpool. It has not only caused revenue losses but toppled market shares, setting new standards for grocery retail.
5. Technologies taking charge
Witnessing a technology surge, players made the best out of this opportunity, enhancing online grocery business from every perspective. Then adding features that met the consumer at their evolved self.
Augmented last-mile delivery to the customer’s location, features to track the order, selecting products from multiple stores in one order, and many more such technology-driven comforts have been provided to keep the customer happy. Endorsing technology into the grocery business just like regular eCommerce has been a challenge.
Raising the bar, the local offline grocery retailers have revamped their grocery business with a brand new outlook. Since grocery has always been a regular everyday need, the customers will always prefer choosing their trusted retailers.
Having them choose a technology channel to keep providing the same trust and comfort will definitely bring them back into mainstream grocery retail on a new dimension.
Imperative Steps to Capitalize Gains as a Grocer in the Coming Times
Now the emergence of online grocery shopping has given grocers new opportunities to grow and expand. They have taken up the challenge to move ahead of their traditional boundaries to meet the consumers at their new edge.
Those who are embracing the change are the ones creating their impressions. Becoming a game changer while delivering groceries has brought countless grocery shop owners back into business even amid critical lockdown times.
1. Strategize your value proposition
The providers must understand that existing offerings need improvision to meet new demands in new ways. The COVID crisis just gave a new window to enter.
The grocers now need to gather what the consumer looks for and build their services and propositions in sync with expectation.
The customers today demand that their trusted grocers provide their weekly or monthly groceries at their doorstep. As a result, the retailers who design their models in this direction will capitalize on gains even during tough times.
2. Enhance capabilities to fill gaps
Technology has just started unfolding to show what all it can create and do. Therefore, the legacy grocery businesses now need to catch pace and reach where other online businesses already are.
Consumers have been picking up the habit to the luxury of automated suggestions, reminders, notifications, and alerts. Keep them in the same zone with groceries too. Going online with the trust, the ease and comfort of offline shopping is what a regular consumer desires most.
The grocers must augment their skills and services to meet the new-age consumer of present times. This will make the customers feel they are in-line with changing times. As well as this, they will receive all the facilities along with the comfort of remaining attached to their legacy grocer.
3. Augment technical applications to grow your online grocery business
Keeping your customer engaged through mobile applications and interactive web interfaces will add weight to your online grocery business. As applied their online grocery shopping gets, as high will their satisfaction be.
4. Customer engagement
Firstly, engage your consumer with attractive offers and deals lighting up their grocery shopping experience. Secondly, keep your marketplace homepage happening with exciting new engaging activities that will help convert viewership to customer accounts.
5. Commercial presence
By trying to increase the outreach of your online grocery business with more online presence. Hence just stay active on social media forums and grocer community groups to pick up the latest happenings. Communicate the engaging and significant communications to your grocery marketplace homepage. What people know about you will definitely impact your sales.
6. Operations & Management
A swift and managed online grocery retail will always leave customers satisfied. When the catalogs are cleanly arranged and the checkout is smooth, they can shop for their groceries efficiently. That is, features enhancing their shopping capacities will help contribute for the future of your online grocery business.
What’s the Future of Grocery eCommerce going to be like?
An ever-expanding technology-powered eCommerce platform is an ultimate desire for any shopper. Also, grocery shopping is more or less fashioning in the same manner. As the new evolved consumer is constantly prepped by updates, news and international trends, they know more about health, food and products than ever.
The future of grocery eCommerce is thus indefinitely set to a world where the consumer is both enriched and supplemented above what is already available.
Grocery shopping will be more like interacting with the virtual sellers through virtual mediums to get what’s best suited. For instance, food items being re-invented to suit newer needs and made available in stocks that serve in just the times it will come in demand should not be a thing of science fiction anymore.
Intelligent insights as well as advanced analytics and easy management features will always sell for online grocery.
1. Business models that will rule
By defining new, marketplaces have taken over the eCommerce industry, including grocery, as the futuristic choice in which customers want to shop. Now, the differentiating factors between marketplace offerings will majorly contribute to a marketplace’s popularity among those grocers who are transitioning from the offline to online channels.
A well-equipped online platform with management features for all stakeholders, intuitive web and mobile applications and a robust support system for seamless services, will comprise as successful business models in the online grocery business.
2. Grocers re-shaping the industry on a whole
Because of something without which our everyday lives would stop, the demands of the grocery eCommerce industry is something that will shape an entire segment of the market. Grocers discovering their new formats and models to meet consumer demands will be setting the stage to the future.
Firstly, grocery eCommerce is the thing to look out for. It wouldn’t be wrong if we said that grocers will be the ones who set new trends that the eCommerce industry picks up to match their consumer.
Author’s Insight & Conclusion
In conclusion, we see a whole new world, new trends being set and old ones being re-invented in order to survive the wave of evolution. The future of online grocery eCommerce is on similar lines.
All that is expected are the grocers tighten up their shoe laces and pull-up their socks for an endless ride. Eventually, bringing out newer ways of offering traditional and local food and groceries is going to be just as exciting as watching science fiction happen live.
This is a guest post contributed from Ramesh Lal of Yo!Kart.
Author Bio: Ramesh Lal is a Digital Marketing Executive at FATbit Technologies. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their business and overall ROI.