Saying Goodbye to In-Store Grocery Shopping: Should Operators Be Concerned?

The pandemic made us witness tremendous changes in our way of life. As the world paused, we, its inhabitants, scrambled to find ways on how to address the major disruptions that the pandemic has brought upon our daily living.

Many quickly turned to technology as a solution to the widespread isolation protocols that forced people to be separated. Everything went online. Online classes and work meetings made it possible for us to continue our lives in our own homes.

But these are not the only functions of society that have found refuge in the capabilities of the internet. Online grocery shopping has also found a place in the lives of consumers who want to avoid the people at the grocery store.

With that being said, is it possible that the pandemic might make us bid farewell to physical grocery shopping? And should store operators be concerned? Let’s look at how it works and why people may prefer it over their weekly visits to the grocer.

man online shopping through phone

The Edge of Online Grocery Shopping 

Knowing that we constantly need supplies to survive, grocery shopping has become a subtle yet necessary routine. But as the pandemic started, more and more people have opted to shop for their groceries online.

The number of online consumers almost doubled in the UK as isolation protocols began. By 2021, online grocery sales went up to $5.3 billion in the US. Online grocery shopping is growing strong, and it is not questionable why.

Convenience

It’s not difficult to comprehend why online grocery shopping services have risen to prominence during a time when going out is either dangerous or prohibited (or both). Even without a pandemic, grocery shopping takes a significant part of your day.

With the help of these services, consumers get their goods delivered straight to their doorstep. Or the store can prepare them for pick up.

This allows consumers to have more time for other things. It may even be recommended for people who are always busy and cannot make time to shop for their needs.

Safety

Another factor as to why online grocery shopping has risen in numbers is because it allows people to avoid the people who may gather at grocery stores. Although stores must follow the minimum health protocols for COVID-19, going outside your homes will always be risky.

With online grocery services, you are letting someone else do the shopping for you. Making use of online grocery services essentially means you are preserving your health amidst a pandemic. This is a service that is perfect for those who cannot afford to take any risks for their health.

A Few Setbacks 

While online grocery shopping allows us to be safe, it is not entirely a flawless scheme. Since someone else is taking over the grocery shopping duties, you won’t have full control over your preferences.

This is applicable for produce and other perishable goods. You may not receive the best quality that the store has to offer. Aside from that, there are also times when your preferred items may not be available. This prompts service providers to provide substitutions that may not suit your preferences.

Given that online grocery shopping has its fair share of ups and downs, should physical stores be worried about losing regular customers?

Should Store Operators Be Concerned?

There is reason to believe that this rising rate of online grocery shopping is an area of concern for physical stores. While it seems to be a threat to business, it can be an opportunity for grocers to gain and retain regular customers.

Grocery chains always have the option to adapt to the times. They can offer online grocery services with their fleet of vehicles to help serve their customers who opt for online grocery shopping. This service can ensure that they are not missing out on the customer demand of online shopping.

Of course, this sounds easier said than done. So stores need to plan well on how they can execute this service. They also need good fleet management software to maximize the abilities of their delivery vehicles. They can check out chevinfleet.com for more information on fleet management.

If they cannot provide these services on their own, stores and supermarket chains can also partner with online grocery services providers to make sure that consumers can avail themselves of their products.

Even with the safety and convenience of online grocery shopping, a survey shows that people might slowly return to physical shopping once the pandemic is over. If grocers can wait out this pandemic, they may see their regular customers gradually return to their physical stores.

At the end of the day, grocers have nothing to worry about, given that they adapt to grocery shopping trends. With online services, groceries can offer better services to their customers. It is a venture that is definitely worth looking into.

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