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.