A new way of living, a new way of shopping beckons the millennials & the borderline generations leading to online stores development. The reason is simple. “Who has the time?”
Estimates in early 2017 say that this holiday season alone would have seen a close to $1 trillion in sales. According to the very popular surveys by Adobe and Deloitte on holiday online retail predictions, customers frenzy will continue beyond Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday and Green Monday well into the new year!
Patterns confirm that online grocery is booming too! With big online retailers like Amazon & Google getting focused on e-grocery it only means that the urban households are having their way by bringing a huge disruption in the way we shop!
And the most popular reason for the acceptance of this B2C model of business has to be the convenience offered to the customers struggling with time and energy to go shop. The frequent discounts & deals are an additional advantage too, especially when it comes to shopping for grocery online through websites or retail mobile apps.
Benefits & Challenges of an Online Grocery Store
Online e-Grocery Store – Competing the Brick & Mortar Ones
When it comes to shopping for grocery it is tough to change the mindset as food & other perishables are generally preferred to be bought after checking the freshness & the look.
Online grocery stores require to give a tough fight to their brick & mortar competitors. A few basic tips might do the trick while planning the online store development.
Collect Customer Feedbacks, Reviews & Ratings
It is estimated that 90% of regular online shoppers prefer to read available feedbacks or reviews. E-commerce websites should necessarily have a feedback feature that allows purchases to add their reviews or comments on the products or experience with concerned vendor. In fact, most popular e-commerce sites do collect reviews and rate vendors and their products accordingly.
Analyze the Happenings in the e-Store
- Number of visitors of the online store
- Sources that attracts the visitors
- Products & their popularity in the store
- Conversions of visits into purchases
Online shopping definitely increases the basket size. With cross-selling, e-commerce enterprises attempt to sell complementary or related groceries once the intent to purchase the primary product is clear.
With some research on consumer spending patterns and proper advertising establishing product correlations; cross-selling can indeed prove to be a differentiator for e-Commerce.
One thing that the customer will definitely look for is live, online support. Channels such as live chat, hotline numbers and quick email responses are indeed a must for e-Commerce website development.
Keep it Simple
Researches point out that a maximum number of bounce rates on the online stores are because of complicated checkouts and a lengthy payment process. Keeping these safe increases the chances of sales by large percentages.
The online business thrives on keeping the customer connected and valued. An email like – “Hey, our vacation sale is on” sounds much better than “Hello customer, enclosed are the details of our vacation sale”.
Retail Analytics complemented with trending techniques like the beacons, offers personalized browsing and purchasing experiences for the customer. Personalization also facilitates user delight by and contributes to building brand loyalty.
Minimize Abandoned Carts
Abandoned carts refer to purchases that were initiated but not completed. It is likely that the customer got distracted or decided to browse something else rather than complete the shopping.
For e-Commerce websites, this is a major factor that could hamper sales significantly if not corrected. Over the years, e-Commerce businesses have implemented multiple measures including personalized emails, onsite messages, popups & notifications to retain customers and minimize abandoned carts.
Foresee & Integrate Appropriate Technologies
Relying on contemporary techniques like the Cloud, Retail Analytics, popular mobile devices and a good blend in of social media makes the shopping experiences more pleasurable for the shoppers. Virtual reality and bots are the latest technologies to look out for too!
Studies indicate that a significant chunk of online shoppers visit multiple sites before finalizing making up their minds. Also, it is very unlikely that they would visit other stores for grocery if their selection keeps them engaged & happy.
Keeping up with competition is something e-Commerce businesses cannot fail. Discounts & flash sales push the customers into a sense of urgency and grab the deal as soon as possible.
E-commerce – Future Projections
The projections for e-Commerce are very promising and definitely implies the same for online groceries too.
- While US has been leading the pack when it comes to e-Commerce purchases, Asia is a market to watch out for. In the coming couple of years, study indicates that the e-Commerce market will double in China.
- Mobile is the future of e-Commerce – this statement is not entirely accurate. Studies have indicated that while 59% of traffic is generated via smartphones, handheld devices account for less than 40% purchases. Any connected user – be it desktop, handheld or smartphone is important to the e-Commerce business.
- Chatbots will drive the future of online store development. Although the technology is still in an infant stage, the perceived applications of the same are huge. Couple of months back, Facebook added in-app purchase feature on the messenger platform which used bots to assist users for purchase.
- Competition will increase in the years to come with more and more startups plunging in the e-Commerce chain.
- Another business insider study estimates that the e-Commerce spending in US will exceed 600 billion by 2020.
In a Nutshell
Overlooking threats from the brick & mortar groceries, big names of the online world like Amazon gains entry into the online grocery space on front foot with Amazon Groceries & Gourmet. Google too is not far behind with Google Express.
Back home in India Big Basket remains the most promising online grocery store in 2016. As an after effect of demonetization, online grocery stores become the next big thing in the subcontinent! Amazon India expands its e-grocery, Amazon Pantry to more cities. Grophers, which had curtailed operations, comes back with a bang too!
A promising way of doing groceries indeed!
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