Amazon is testing online grocery shopping and delivery in key cities, and Walmart and several other grocers have implemented online grocery shopping with store pickup programs. This is a grocery shopping trend that will continue in 2017. Check out why it’s booming and how it’s affecting retail logistics.
More Grocery Stores Offer Online Shopping
Online grocery shopping isn’t a new concept, but more retailers have started to add it to their offerings. Big retailers, like Walmart and Kroger, allow consumers to purchase groceries online and then pick up their orders at a local store. This service isn’t available at every location yet, but it’s proving popular with consumers.
Walmart’s Chief Operating Officer, Michael Bender, stated, “This new, easy shopping experience is an innovation that’s helpful for anyone with a busy schedule — particularly moms with small children. They can shop online and choose the pickup time that works for them, and they never have to unbuckle anyone’s seat belt.”
Amazon has two grocery shopping programs. Amazon Prime allows consumers to fill a box of non-perishable grocery items and have it shipped to their homes. Some cities can also use Amazon for delivery of fresh grocery items, but the program is still in the testing stages. When consumers try the services, they appreciate the convenience. It saves them a trip to the grocery store, and they can comparison shop easily from their home computer.
Young People Push for Technology
Younger generations who grew up using technology are shaping expectations for online shopping. Young people expect technology in every aspect of their lives, and most carry a smartphone wherever they go. This is one major reason why online grocery shopping is booming. Young people love the convenience and feel comfortable using technology.
As Patrick Dodd president, global retailer vertical, Nielsen, stated, “Millennials are at the beginning of their careers and are starting to form households, while the oldest members of Generation Z will soon be graduating college and joining the workforce. These generations will shape our economy for decades to come. Therefore, it is critical that retailers and manufacturers understand how these consumers are using technology and include digital touch points along the entire path to purchase.”
Room for Improvement
Even though many consumers are adding online grocery shopping to their lifestyles, there’s still room for improvement. The 2016 U.S. Supermarket Experience Study shows that consumers are mostly still happy with their in-store grocery shopping experience. They can handpick their produce and make decisions right in the store. The challenge is getting more consumers to try online grocery shopping. Many who try it never look back.
There’s no denying that online grocery shopping is booming in 2017. Retailers that want to participate need to prepare for the unique challenges online grocery shopping presents. For instance, Amazon is dealing with the need for trucks with refrigeration, and Walmart has added special lanes and parking spaces to facilitate its curbside pickup. One thing that’s becoming clear is grocery stores that offer online shopping will perform better than those that don’t.