The past two years have been significant for eCommerce. Thousands of businesses have started selling their products online, and millions of customers embrace online shopping. Pandemic-era growth has slowed, but grocery eCommerce is still growing and is expected to grow more in the coming years.
That’s why now, ethnic grocery stores are pivoting towards eCommerce. Hispanic grocery stores should jump on the bandwagon and go digital right away to secure sales benefits.
Let’s guide you through building an eCommerce presence and how you can set up a digital store that your customers genuinely enjoy.
Three Reasons Why You Need an Online Store
Before diving into specifics, first, let’s talk about why you need an online store. Here are three big reasons why you need an online store for your Hispanic grocery business.
Customer demands and expectations have changed greatly over the years. Now customers expect modern convenience. They want to be able to shop online, whether on their phones or computers. They want to choose whether they want a product delivered to their home, picked up in-store, or picked up curbside. They want to pay with their preferred methods, like PayPal, EBT/SNAP, ApplePay, credit, debit, and more.
If you don’t meet customer expectations, they’ll go elsewhere. It’s your job to provide customers with the options, technology, and convenience that they expect in 2023.
An online store can have a huge impact on your sales. With an online store, customers from all over the country can purchase your products. Your customer base does not have to be limited to your geographic location.
On top of that, you can drive more sales from current customers. By giving them more freedom, flexibility, and convenience, they’ll be likely to purchase even more of your products. And with technology like self-serve kiosks that can upsell and automated customer data collection, you can make more sales than ever before.
Whether or not you open an online store, your competitors will. Grocery can be a competitive business, and you need to keep up with the competition so you don’t get left behind. You need to open an online store that can compete with your competitors, that way you don’t lose customers to them.
Build an Online Grocery Store Website
According to Chain Storage, 81 percent of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase online. When people crave Hispanic food, they often search for specific terms such as “Taco shells” or “Chipotle salsa.” Therefore, having an eCommerce website is essential to catch those leads. A digital store makes your potential customers aware of what you offer and to which conditions – helping them to make their purchase decision.
To build a website, you can choose between two options: First, you can buy a domain, order a web host and join a content management system. You will need to learn how to set up a website and build your eCommerce manually.
However, that’s only the start, setting up and operating an online store and keeping it up to date requires effort. You want to plan for how to efficiently and effectively operate your online store for the long term. You must treat it like another store, not just a portal.
A faster and more beginner-friendly option is to secure your website with a website builder specialized in grocery stores. Those all-in-one service solutions can connect your page with a Point-of-Sale (POS) system, which makes an easy integration between in-store shopping and digital purchases possible. Best of all, our websites are able to display in multiple languages, something that is absolutely essential for ethnic grocers.
A Custom eCommerce Store Based on Your Clients’ Needs
To get your eCommerce store up and running, you have to choose its basic functionalities and what you would like to offer your clients. This includes selecting payment gateways (such as Paypal and Visa) and shipping services (meaning how fast can you deliver to your customers?). Further, consider how to organize your product base. Some simple tricks can help you improve your customer’s shopping experience.
First of all, every product requires an informative product description. Let’s say you sell a taco food kit; describe the included ingredients, and explain how easy it is to cook this recipe at home.
They show the origin of the product, its ingredients, and how to use it. They can also display this information in multiple languages, that way customers who speak Spanish (or another language) can still get that information.
Next, think about how your potential customers are browsing through your page. It is appealing to organize your products based on the category of food—such as canned goods, fresh goods, or theme categories such as evening specials and festive dinners—as a Hispanic grocer. You can advertise unique food treasures like mole sauce or cilantro cake in a distinct section to recreate the unique ambiance of physical ethnic food stores.
We advise building a digital store that can reflect your clients’ preferences after they’ve logged in. Personalization is an invaluable marketing strategy, and personalized shopping carts are standard features of eCommerce stores. Here, bestsellers or individual customers’ most purchased products can pop up right at the beginning when they enter your page.
Improve Your Online Customer Experience
Additional steps can help you achieve a better customer experience in your digital stores. Remember, your goal is perfect physical and digital customer experience integration.
You can start by driving promotions and discounts. The number one reason people shop online is free delivery—why not offer free delivery or shipping for new customers who order above $100? That is an average online grocery basket and can help motivate customers to follow through with their purchases.
Lastly, give space for customers to review your products. 95% of customers read reviews before buying a product. By providing your customers access to those reviews, you establish trust with your clients. Further, you can use their feedback to improve your products or product bases and adjust them to your client’s wishes over time.
Make Inventory Simple, For You and Your Customers
Managing inventory can be one of the most challenging parts of running a grocery store. However, taking your store online can actually make your inventory process more efficient.
With Local Express, you can manage inventory for all of your stores in one dashboard. No longer will you have to check various apps and interfaces just to manage your inventory, which is especially helpful if you have multiple store locations. You can check stock, re-order necessary products, and more with ease.
Additionally, prices are always changing for groceries. Whether it’s special promos, overstocked items, or perishable, prices fluctuate and you need a way to make that process simple. With our single dashboard, you can manage those price changes easily in one place.
Also, seamless integration with POS is critical. If your inventory and POS systems don’t integrate efficiently, managing them will be a headache. At Local Express, we integrate directly with most POS systems, making logistics and management simple.
Fast and Efficient Delivery
Delivery is one of the other big challenges grocers face. Dispatching your products quickly, efficiently, and properly can be a struggle, especially if you have to deal with multiple delivery providers.
But when you open an online store with Local Express, delivery is as easy as can be. We have a multi-vendor system that optimizes delivery time and cost. We also have a fully integrated driver app, streamlining logistics and tracking. Plus your customers will have the ability to order and pay how they want. With our services, you and your customers won’t have to stress about delivery anymore.
And don’t underestimate the potential for food shipping. Up to 15% of food orders are “shipped” nationwide—even perishables like fruit, veggies, and meats. Does your store have a tortilla or salsa that has a following? Now you can sell them nationwide and expand your customer base while increasing sales!
An Online Store in Action
What are the benefits of taking your Hispanic grocery store online in real life? Then just take a look at one of our clients, https://chavirasnm.local.express. They are a specialty grocer that focuses on Hispanic foods and products that’s seen great success with Local Express.
They used our service to get their online store up and running, fully customized to their liking. Now, their customers are empowered by Chivras’ robust website. Since opening their online store, they have seen an increase in sales and got more customers and much more. They’ve also saved countless hours of time thanks to the numerous convenience benefits that come with an online store. It’s easy to see how beneficial opening an online store has been to Chaviras’ business.
“We’ve been working with Local Express for a while now and we couldn’t be happier! They offer a variety of software solutions that have helped our food business thrive. This made it much easier for me to reach the right people with the right message, and that’s why I have been able to grow my sales. All-in-all I am very happy with what they offer, and highly recommend them to anyone looking for marketing automation solutions. They are truly game-changers! Highly recommended!”
– S.H., Grocery Owner
Do you want to ease your entry into the digital world? With the Local Express Platform, you can get a fully optimized eCommerce for your Hispanic Grocery Store.