As retailers look back on the past few years, they’ll see a retail landscape that has gone through enormous changes—especially in regard to e-commerce. E-commerce sales rose as much as 300% during COVID-19 peak periods, and e-commerce sales are set to break records every year as they continue to rise.
That sort of substantial and continued rise in sales means that grocers need an online store if they want to continue their success.
However, there’s much more to consider than the steady rise in sales when it comes to grocery e-commerce.
Here’s how to set up a grocery e-commerce platform, and what to watch out for when you join the world of online food sales.
Online Grocery Delivery
One of the biggest advantages a food retailer can offer customers is a wide and unique selection of products. A largely unexpected effect of the pandemic has been a reduction and availability in product choice in both brick-and-mortar and online grocery stores, and a shift towards substitute products or “private brands” which are sticking.
Despite increasing competitiveness in online food sales, even small and independent stores have a reason to be online. Customers are always on the lookout for new, interesting, and hard-to-find items to add to their digital cart, including imported products and pre-made meals from store delis and restaurants. Bringing these products online can increase retailer sales by offering customers something they may not be able to find anywhere else.
And when you choose Local Express as your online storefront platform, you can save money on delivery costs while providing the same level of service your customers expect. We have a delivery ecosystem that is uniquely suited for local food retailers and grocers.
We utilize a multi-vendor delivery system, giving you the ability to choose from the providers you and your customers prefer. Our system also automatically optimizes the delivery time and cost options for regular and rush orders, saving you money. And with a fully integrated driver app that streamlines logistics and tracking, you can provide incredible delivery service at a fraction of the cost.
The key advantage retailers have is in knowing their customer base. After all, online sales made up only a small percentage of total food retailer sales as recently as 2018. We’ve long been accustomed to shopping in stores, typically at a nearby local retailer.
These stores are part of the fabric of their community, stocking items that are popular in the neighborhood or region and adapting their services to meet the needs of the customer. By bringing these personal touches to online service as well, retailers are better able to not only meet the needs of their community, but expand their customer base beyond the block and throughout the city, state, or even country.
And since you’ll have multiple channels, omnichannel (online and in-person), you can expand your customer base in multiple ways at once. You can gain new customers via your online store and convert them into in-person customers. You can do the opposite by getting customers in-store and encouraging them to shop online too. With omnichannel sales, you’ll be able to hit higher sales numbers than ever.
Feeding The Hungry
The online food sales model isn’t just a key change of the COVID era—it’s a long-term shift in the 2020s that will affect virtually everyone who purchases their food from a retailer. That includes users of SNAP benefits and other programs that can now be implemented in online sales environments to bring in the customers who need this service the most.
The future of online food retail is egalitarian. When sales revolve around the customer’s schedule, there’s really no limit to who can shop online and when. A robust ordering platform is what your business needs to take part in this digital revolution.
Contact Local Express today to get started today!