Businesses across the board are struggling to meet the new demands put forth due to Covid. Increasing sales while decreasing operational costs is not an easy feat. However, the country’s nearly 40,000 grocery stores, classified an essential service during the pandemic, have had to adapt quickly without any downtime.
Only about 3 to 4 percent of grocery spending in the U.S. was online before the pandemic, but that’s surged to 10 to 15 percent, according to research by consulting firm Bain & Company. And in some cases, it’s much greater than that.
“Early on during the pandemic, we saw a 300 percent increase, on average, in online grocery sales among our clients compared to the same time period last year. Some of our clients successfully handled much larger online sales spikes. A single location gourmet market in Brooklyn, New York, for example, went from $53,000 to $388,000 weekly online sales at the height of the pandemic,” says Dan Dashevsky, COO of My Cloud Grocer, an ecommerce software platform for supermarket chains. The company offers a robust, customizable virtual storefront with a white-label platform that powers and integrates the full shopping experience.
As the current pandemic dramatically changes the landscape of retail around the world, smart grocers are utilizing technology to grow their sales while safeguarding their customers. Let’s look at the technology and tactics businesses are using, not only to stay afloat during these troubled times but to thrive.
Customer needs and their experience must come first
The customer experience should always be the driving force that determines how a website operates or which policies a company will enforce, but unfortunately. that is not always the case. During the pandemic, customers have complained that they’ve had to wait days or even weeks to receive grocery deliveries — not an ideal scenario when supplies are low and the need is greater.
“Many online grocery platforms are only showing available delivery times at checkout — after customers have spent 20-40 minutes filling their carts with products — causing additional frustration for customers when they realize they can’t get their groceries within a reasonable time and on top of that, they’ve also wasted their time,” says Dashevsky. “We made sure that our clients’ platforms display the available delivery and pickup times as soon as shoppers add the first item to their cart.”