Have you been to your local grocery store lately? If so, you may have noticed a few parking spots reserved for Click + Collect customers. As the trend of purchasing groceries online becomes increasingly common, more and more stores are offering this service. Additionally, many stores are also offering grocery delivery for customers wishing to avoid the store entirely.
Choosing to purchase groceries online is becoming more popular each year. With the trend showing no signs of slowing down, grocers are left struggling to best overcome the new challenges associated with both Click + Collect and delivery.
Firstly, consumers are notoriously picky when it comes to their groceries, especially produce and meats. This makes it difficult for personal shoppers to select adequate products for their customers. Additionally, customers frequently select a variety of products with a range in temperature requirements, making it more difficult to ensure proper cold-chain compliance. The delivery window for groceries is also very narrow, as customers must be home to receive the delivery due to the temperature requirements of the items.
Hiring and training staff to manage personal shopping and delivery costs companies money, which can eat into already thin margins common in grocery items. This can make these options undesirable to start up. In order to overcome these costs, many companies charge a delivery fee and often have a minimum order to qualify for either delivery or Click + Collect. Other companies are coming up with more creative solutions, such as autonomous delivery vehicles or autonomous order-picking robots. These solutions are still in the early phases, and more testing will be required to overcome their own unique issues, however, they have the potential to help meet the growing demand for grocery delivery and online grocery shopping.