There was a time, in the early 1980’s, when families had to make some hard decisions on how to best spend their home entertainment dollars. They wanted the freedom to watch movies at home on their own schedule. The question was should we get a “Betamax” or “VHS” player? For a while you could rent a movie in either format. But slowly Betamax cassettes began to fade away.
Today, in 2016 we find ourselves in a similar predicament only in the grocery industry. Which online shopping method is going to be the future VHS? Instead of two choices we now have several. Here are a few that were discussed in last weeks Coffee with CART with Sterling and Schuyler Hawkins. Let’s see what other retailers are doing…
Instacart: Several retailers in southern California are partnering with Instacart to combat the Aldi invasion. For a grocery customer to use Instacart, they first need to know which stores are partners. They go to the website using any mobile device, find their store, pick their items, schedule the delivery and groceries should show up in a hour.
Amazon Prime: A natural food retailer in Seattle has decided to add a partnership with Amazon Prime who can now offer more customers orders delivered to their homes in 2 hours. The bonus is they even deliver entrees, soups and salads made-from-scratch daily in the deli. Kinda like a restaurant. The retailer experienced success by partnering with instacart, so they decided to add Amazon Prime because they deliver to more neighborhoods.
UberRUSH: Another retailer upgraded their online shopping experience by partnering with UberRUSH. Previously, using Expresslane, customers could order items online using an app then go pick them up at the store. Now customers can order items then choose “delivery” or “pick up”. If “delivery” is chosen, an Uber driver will pickup the order and deliver it to the home provided the customer lives in a 5 mile radius of the store.
Fulfillment Center: To relieve store employees, a retailer is dedicating a separate building to hold items bought online through their website.
Droid Delivery: Something to look forward to for online shopping. The first federally-sanctioned drone delivery in a U.S. urban area happened last March. Using GPS navigation small first aid supplies were delivered.
Many stores who have experienced success with online shopping are now adding partnerships with the delivery aspect in mind. Most of these partnerships are a way to expand a store’s delivery area. The driving aspect still seems to be a hurdle, but retailers are finding different solutions to get food to customers’ front doors.