E-grocery is here to stay. Investors showed faith in it a while back, but consumers too are accepting the reality with vigor. The growth from hereon will be exponential and the coming year promises to be the most exciting for all e-grocers till date. Consumers are starting to enjoy the easy life, ordering food and groceries online be it through an App or a website. They are spoilt for choice on the payment front as well, as all major retailers offer cash on delivery (COD), in addition to the usual online payments gateway options especially the fast growing mobile wallets.
The trends to watch out for in 2016:
Influencers within social groups i.e. friends, family, colleagues etc. will furthermore encourage fence sitters to try ordering food products online. The reasons may vary from consumer to consumer, be it deals and discounts, convenience, easy returns or simple hard-to-find products and premium quality. The hesitation will make way for trial and positive shopping experiences will lead to repeat usage. With a new year setting in, buyers are becoming more experienced while using an App or website to place their orders and are bound to re-align the expectations in terms of delivery timelines and pricing that an e-grocery enterprise offers to them.
With time consumers will evolve to demand differentiated offerings based on Quality, Variety, Hard-To-Find-Products and much more in addition to cherishing the convenience of having it all delivered to their doorstep. The retailers will continue to evolve their technology and product offerings to suit the consumer’s need. We will see one touch re-ordering options and periodic subscription-based buying for staples like Milk, Vegetables etc.
Niche producers for high-quality products will find a ready market through hyper-local and popular inventory-led retailers. This will further grow the market as smaller players with quality products will have multiple avenues to sell their produce and create a brand without having to invest heavily in storage infrastructure and supply chain.
Consumers will not shop entirely online or offline; rather, they’ll be taking a balanced approach, testing waters with online while continuing to do majority of their grocery shopping offline, while the more evolved consumers will use technology for servicing specific needs…be it express delivery, deals or exclusive product offerings online. Consumers will use whatever channel best suits their needs. The most successful sellers will be at the intersection of the physical and virtual worlds, working overtime to leverage technology to satisfy shoppers in their quest to shop online.
With time we will see another very significant trend. Consumers who have grown up shopping online will be moving into and creating their own households for the first time. Becoming the primary grocery shoppers, most are never far from their smart-phones, and those phones make online ordering a breeze. So an entire generation out there is already an evolved online shopper, just waiting to discover e-grocery!
Authored by: Nitin Sawhney, CEO, iOrderFresh