Days of standing in a checkout queue at grocery stores are far behind us now, thanks to the convenience that online grocery services provides as well as to the early adopters that helped spread the awareness when these online services were first released.
Here are some of the technological trends in grocery shopping that are making tech savvy shoppers reluctant to go back to traditional grocery shopping methods:
Ordering grocery via mobile applications and websites has become a widely popular method of grocery shopping. Mainly because of the effort and time it saves.
However, moving to the online grocery delivery model was not as smooth for the early grocery websites.
For example, Webvan was one of the initial online grocery stores, that went bankrupt because of following reasons:
- Aggressive expansion to many cities without proving its business model in its first market.
- A business model targeting price-sensitive mass-market consumers rather than upmarket consumers who would be more profitable.
- Building its own warehouses and fulfillment infrastructure from scratch utilizing huge chunk of .
- Higher expectations from shoppers to quickly appear and order groceries online and have them delivered to their homes.
Nearly an year later big e-commerce businesses began to realize the wide scope that online grocery business model offers and started to roll out their online grocery offerings more aggressively.
Apps like Postmates and Instacart made sure that they wont repeat the mistakes of Webvan.
Suggested reads: How does Postmates business model work? How do Postmates earn?
Over a period of time a lot of online home delivery based grocery websites and apps, started to enter the market and became one of the major drivers in success of online grocery business that tech savvy buyers are far from letting go.
Payment via Stripe, PayPal, Paytm, Credit Card, Debit Card, and net banking has completely wiped out the hardships buyers faced to give the exact change to the sellers.
Cash is the least used mode of payment in supermarkets – Consumer Payment Study
Credit and debit cards are the most preferred mode of payment giving buyers easy and faster checkout option.
Curbside pickup is another technology trend making our lives much sorted than before.
What is curbside pickup? You can place the order online and the store lets you know when your order is ready. You can pick your order from the store on your way home or on your way out.
H-E-B is a privately held giant supermarket chain in Texas, having approximately 350 stores across US. They offer both curbside pickup and home delivery to their customers.
Having this(curbside pickup) option is super life-changing – H-E-B customer
For over years, shoppers have been able to navigate through self-checkout lines, but now home delivery and curbside pick-up options are becoming more and more popular.
The ‘just walk out’ option by AmazonGo or H-E-B Go option lets you walk out of the store without standing on the billing counter.
What is ‘Just Walk Out’ & ‘HEB Go’ – You enter the store, scan the products you wish to buy on their app and leave. The amount is deducted from the wallet and you are sent the receipt.
However, this method is still in its primitive stage and is being tested by big grocery retailers like Amazon and H-E-B. This technology can detect when products are taken or kept back on the shelves and keeps track of them in your virtual cart.
Shoppers no longer view waiting in line as a valuable use of their time – A study by Global Payments Platform.
This grocery shopping option sure is a treat for tech savvy shoppers.
Other grocery industry tech innovations you must know about!
On-demand grocery industry is one of the booming industries of today. New innovations are launched everyday. Here are few of them:
1. Sheds: Kroger, one of the largest supermarket operators joined hands with Ocado’s ‘Shed’ Warehousing technology, where robots pick and pack groceries. The company’s newest machines can pull together a 50-item grocery order in as little as five minutes.
2. Buy-&-Cook Services: Hellman, the largest mayonnaise producer has partnered with delivery tech start-up Quiqup. Using the app or the website, customers pick what they want to cook from a series of recipes.
Quiqup then brings the required ingredients to their door within an hour. The ingredients come from retailers that Quiqup works with.
3. No-brand, one-price model by Brandless : The company only sells own-brand non-perishable food, health and beauty, and household items, with everything priced at $3.
Single standardized price across all products, Brandless makes it as easy as possible for customers to make quick buying choices.
All these tech innovations are contributing in making the grocery shopping experiences much simpler and fun. Hence, making it a widely accepted mode of grocery shopping worldwide.
However, the market seems to welcome these tech innovations in grocery shopping. Hinting at the potential that it still holds and can be explored by the new entrepreneurs who are looking to launch their grocery delivery app or website.