Grocery delivery services, once considered logistical nightmares, are making a slow comeback. Younger shoppers, accustomed to buying most of their purchases online, view the Web as their primary method of shopping, even for groceries. Walmart, for example, is testing a delivery service in northern California, called Walmart to Go. AmazonFresh, a unit of Amazon, for the past few years has delivered produce in the Seattle area.
Many grocers are struggling with whether or not to compete in this area, and if it logistically is possible to be successful. Most grocers feel that customers want the opportunity to preview their produce and meats in the store, but don’t want to alienate the core group of customers that would prefer to shop online. With grocery items already at low margins, many grocers are concerned with adding fuel costs. In addition, some grocers are only able to offer a 4 hour window for grocery delivery, which eliminates the convenience factor for many customers. Furthermore, in most communities, customers only have to travel ten minutes or so to get to a grocery store.
For right now, grocery delivery services might only appeal to younger customers on the go, or consumers who are homebound. But other grocers are viewing online grocery delivery services as an opportunity for growth and expansion in the next decade.
1. Do you think that online grocery services will grow?
Kavita Kumar, “Grocery Delivery Services Draw New Interest By Online Shoppers,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, November 6, 2011.
Dan Shaffer said:
I do believe online grocery stores will continue to grow simply because of the rate of growth of the internet and the swift shift of all types of company’s to the online world. As mentioned in the article, the online grocery stores do provide convenience for people on the go or stuck at home. Both of these groups of people will most likely always exist, solidifying a consistent customer base.
Kyle T. said:
I was surprised when reading this article that grocery delivery is popular with younger generations. I am an avid online shopper myself, but I just never understood why anyone would want to buy groceries online unless they had no means of getting to a grocery store. For instance, I thought that online grocery shopping was most popular for senior citizens who may no longer drive and need their food delivered to them because they have no other way of obtaining products one would find at a grocery store. But after reading this article I thought about it and realized that in today’s time-poor society, it makes sense for younger generations who shop primarily online for other items to buy groceries online as well. Though I do not know many young people who buy groceries online, I certainly do see growth in this industry as the teenagers of today grow up. I believe each generation is more tech-savvy than the last, so as this happens it is inevitable for more and more people to be shopping for their groceries online and having them delivered to their homes.
I believe that online grocery services will grow in the near future because of the increase in the use of the internet. People have been starting to rely more on buying consumer products from the internet over the past couple of years as the growth of the internet continues. Business days are getting longer and longer which means that people’s time is running short so they won’t have as much of an opportunity to go out and shop for groceries, especially, as the article mentioned, if the store is located ten or more minutes away. However, delivery of groceries can be expensive so I think that this growth in the online grocery service may only be for the middle and high class population. This is something that should still be researched, but the concept does have a lot of potential in the near future.