Supermarket operators know one of the most challenging aspects of competing in today’s mobile-first on-demand economy is the heightened expectation for convenience that shoppers bring from their experiences in other retail channels.
Today’s shoppers have grown accustomed to:
• Receiving individual non-food and non-perishable grocery
items from Amazon Prime as soon as the same day they
• Receiving grocery item delivery from AmazonFresh in as
little as six hours in some markets.
• Ordering groceries from Walmart.com or Target.com and
having the items loaded into their vehicle at a local store.
• Ordering hot prepared meals from their favorite restaurants
for delivery within an hour from Door Dash and Uber Eats.
• Having full grocery orders selected and delivered from their
favorite stores via Shipt or Instacart.
Self-service supermarkets used to epitomize convenience in
the pre-digital era. Stores were located in neighborhoods and
stocked with a large assortment of foods that could be found
fast by the shoppers and brought home immediately. Today,
those same stores are playing catch-up with the new breed of
digital-first retailers, who have succeeded at raising shopper
expectations to unprecedented levels.
There’s no time to waste. A research report conducted by
IDC Retail Insights and commissioned by Precima, Personalization in Digital Food Retail – Shoppers Expect More, found
that 35% of shoppers will spend 26%-40% of their grocery budget online by 2020. The finding corroborates an earlier Food
Marketing Institute (FMI) study that forecast a $100 billion
online grocery market by 2022.
When it comes to digital ordering and order fulfillment,
grocery is vastly more complicated than any other retail sector.
There are techniques of fresh product selection and temperature control that must be mastered. Delivery timeliness is
critical for perishable goods. Grocery order attributes like large
item counts and physical bulk add to the logistical challenge,
making conventional third-party delivery—like UPS, FedEx
No other form of consumer ecommerce is burdened with
all these challenges, which likely contributes to why online
grocery shopping penetration has lagged compared with many
other retail categories, such as books, apparel and hard lines.
The specific challenges of grocery order fulfillment also help
to explain why many supermarkets are pursuing a special flavor
of buy-online-pickup-instore (BOPIS) that is often referred to as
“Click & Collect,” which offers a number of benefits to retailers.
• Drives sales: Research by Greenberg
Strategy for Rakuten Ready found
that 15% of shoppers said they would
not have made their purchase without
the ability to order ahead and pickup
themselves—and, nearly a quarter of
shoppers purchased incremental items
during their pickup.
• Grows loyalty: Click & Collect creates
customer loyalty by offering experiences that are easy and convenient, leading
to greater brand preference. According
to Greenberg Strategy’s research, more
than 94% of consumers using order
and pickup were satisfied with the
experience and are likely to use it again.
HOW TO TAME THE DELIVERY MONSTER
WITH CLICK & COLLECT SERVICE
The advantages begin with delivery costs
saved. Orders are picked and staged
in the store and loaded into shoppers’
vehicles upon their arrival at a designat-
ed pickup area outside the building. For
retailers, that means no fleet of vehicles
to operate and no home delivery timing
glitches to worry about. Shoppers arrive
at their convenience and have the option
of stepping inside the store to select
Click & Collect demands new skills,
tools, and techniques from supermarket operators. Order selection, staging,
temperature control and timing still
require systems and training. Since
the fulfillment “action” happens in the
stores, it places greater responsibility on
store managers and associates. Pickups
tend to be clustered at peak times of the
day—like after work or school—which
requires a well-choreographed process.
HOW RAKUTEN READY HELPS GROCERS
EXCEED CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS
Now that rapid, responsive and accurate
online grocery shopping has become the
expected norm for shoppers, the race
is on to compete. Supermarket operators don’t have to tackle the challenges
alone. Rakuten Ready has proven busi-ness-ready solutions for order management, fulfillment and pickup that work
seamlessly with existing store processes.
Visit RakutenReady.com to learn more.
Shoppers want it all, instantly. Are stores ready?