Shopping online has become a popular and convenient option among consumers, with 30.2% of computer and electronics retail sales and 27.4% of apparel sales taking place online. Now, consumers are even going online for their groceries.
The industry has seen a steady rise in the adoption of online grocery shopping for years; however, the pandemic has accelerated this trend. With people maintaining social distance, in-store shopping has been substituted with eCommerce options such as mobile delivery and online ordering and pickup, creating a new grocery landscape.
These convenient and safe grocery eCommerce options are expected to continue to gain popularity long after the pandemic has passed. It is a good idea for grocery retailers to step up their game and move their grocery operations online if they haven’t already. Continue reading to discover three ways grocery retailers can boost their eCommerce presence—and why it’s important.
Find the Right Grocery eCommerce Provider
The backbone of your eCommerce presence is your grocery eCommerce provider; choosing the right platform for you is a critical decision that will set the stage for eCommerce success. If you already have an eCommerce platform and aren’t seeing results, it may be time for a change. Whether you are looking for the first time or need to reevaluate your current one, you’ll want to choose a provider that:
Offers technological flexibility
Not every provider can accommodate specific needs; some are more of a “one size fits all” solution. Select an eCommerce platform that integrates with your point-of-sale system. This will ensure inventory is automatically updated, whether the customer purchases online or in-store. An integrated solution also eliminates data entry and product and ensures product and pricing information is consistent.
Accommodates your business and customer needs
Find a provider that first and foremost has experience implementing solutions for grocery eCommerce. The provider should have the capability to power features such as:
- Prepared meals, custom deli orders, and food sold by weight
- Access to your loyalty program, pharmacy, and alcohol deliveries
An ideal point of sale and eCommerce solution will enable you to offer in-depth features your shoppers want to use. With customers experimenting with different online ordering options, grocery retailers should review their eCommerce compared to other digital grocery leaders.
You’ll want to choose a trustworthy provider, meaning that they will ensure you preserve access to and ownership of your customer data. This keeps you in the driver’s seat and allows you to build shopper loyalty; with your customer data, you can understand customers’ evolving needs and behaviors and deliver the services and products relevant to them.
Need help choosing a point of sale provider before you launch your eCommerce presence?
Download our FREE Grocery POS Buyer’s Guide!
Market Your eCommerce Platform
Unfortunately, your eCommerce platform can’t thrive if no one knows it exists. That’s why it’s crucial to market your online store. There are a few ways you can increase your visibility:
A great way to advertise your grocery eCommerce platform is through social media. In a world where almost everyone spends time on their computer or phones, online advertising is on-trend. Social media is also the perfect way to target the younger demographic who are more likely to take advantage of your eCommerce platform.
Encourage in-store customers to shop online by including an advertisement for your eCommerce platform at the bottom of their receipts, as a flyer in their shopping bag, or as text on shopping bag designs. You can even offer a reward for their first online shopping experience, such as a coupon or develop an online point system.
Make your eCommerce experience unique
Independent grocery retailers should leverage their locality. Take what shoppers like best about your stores and translate it into their eCommerce. By doing this, you can create a unique environment that speaks directly to customers’ needs and gain an advantage over “big box stores” who are more likely to implement standard plans system-wide. At the end of the day, personalization is the goal.
Streamline eCommerce Operations with Mobile Delivery
With a grocery eCommerce platform, you can offer customers unique options to collect and receive their grocery orders, such as buy online pickup in-store (BOPIS), curbside pickup, and delivery. To streamline these processes, it’s a good idea to add a mobile delivery app into your eCommerce platform. A mobile delivery app will help you to:
With a mobile delivery app, your delivery and pickup operations will be effortless. With the app, you can easily view pending and finalized deliveries, view and print customer signatures, and accept and process payments for an entire delivery batch. It can also limit human error and misunderstandings by providing complete history tracking for deliveries, inventory, and sales.
Enhance customer service
A mobile delivery app will not only benefit your operations; it will provide a positive and convenient customer experience as well. You can enhance your store’s reach by allowing those who don’t live in your area to shop online easily. A mobile delivery app will also give you access to accurate information that you can use to make informed decisions to improve customer service and increase customer retention. Easily assign separate billing and shipping addresses for maximum efficiency and accuracy.
Online grocery shopping isn’t going away anytime soon. In an uncertain climate and modernizing future, consumers will turn to eCommerce for their groceries to stay safe and enjoy the convenience. This is why it is important for grocery retailers to step up their game and boost their eCommerce presence and profitability.
Contact Auto-Star to learn more about our grocery eCommerce integrations.