Deli department sales have seen a consistent rise over the past few years, including a massive jump between 2018 and 2019. According to Statista, overall sales leaped from $27 billion in 2018 to nearly $37 billion in 2019—a clear sign that grocery stores with delicious delis should do all they can to meet customer demand.
Understanding how to offer the best deli online ordering is crucial to keeping up with demand in an increasingly eCommerce-first grocery environment. But first, let’s take a look at why deli departments are creating such a boon to sales, and how local groceries can create delicious deli ordering online to meet demand.
The Rise Of The Deli
Delis occupy a unique space in the prepared food market. Consumers typically see them as a quick option for ready-to-eat meals that are healthier than fast food—and they’re often right. Most grocery store delis don’t rely on deep fryers to prepare their items; the most popular food options are typically cold cuts, roasted chicken, and both prepared and made-to-order salads and sandwiches known for their freshness. Ethnic grocery stores have the additional advantage of offering unique or hard-to-find dishes and cuts of meat that give their eateries an edge over the competition.
The reputation for freshness goes a long way toward increasing the appeal of delis for health-conscious consumers, who make up between 25-30% of shoppers in the US. Delis are also popular with time-constrained consumers who’d rather have a prepared meal following their grocery shopping trip, and with shoppers looking for a reliable option for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The sharp decrease in foot traffic brought by social distancing hasn’t changed the fact that shoppers love their local delis, but it does mean grocery store owners have to change the way they market, promote, and deliver their deli items. Luckily, a customer-centric eCommerce platform, like the kind offered by Local Express, can not only increase the sale of ready-to-eat foods but also work in tandem to expand overall sales as well.
Ecommerce Meal Delivery
Deli items are often a spur-of-the-moment purchase for grocery store shoppers. While customers visit the grocery to buy ingredients for meals they prepare on their own, the appeal of fresh, ready-to-eat food in and around the deli aisle is difficult to ignore. Moreover, some customers visit their local grocery simply to shop at the deli, substituting an expensive restaurant meal or fast food trip for a fresher alternative that supports local business.
Consumer fondness for deli meals can be transferred to the online food retail space. It requires the right mix of top-quality photos, easy ordering options, and the one-of-a-kind variety independent and ethnic grocery stores are known to offer. Better yet, when combined with other offers such as free grocery delivery or similar promotions, eCommerce shoppers will increasingly view their local eGrocery as a go-to option when ordering prepared food online.
Bringing Your Deli Online
There’s simply no reason for a local, independent grocery store to forego deli sales when they shift to online sales. Doing so not only creates a new revenue stream for your business but also helps recreate the in-store experience shoppers are accustomed to.
If you’d like to see how a customer-centric online storefront can boost your grocery business, get in touch with us today to start bringing the best deli and grocery delivery services to new and long-time customers alike using Local Express’ award-winning eGrocery platform.