Which way to curbside pickup? This has become a more common question among shoppers driving to the grocery stores to get their online orders. No retail vertical has seen more e-commerce sales growth than grocery. Many supermarket chains are reporting triple-digit online sales increases year-over-year. That’s the good news. But the catch is that online order fulfillment is costly no matter how the customer chooses to get the order—via delivery or curbside pickup. Grocery store space re-alignment will improve cost efficiencies as well as the customer experience. The addition of contactless payment options will also become a staple of grocery store shopping even after the pandemic.
The following excerpt from a Wall St. Journal article reports more on the topic:
Supermarkets are using pandemic-driven changes in shopping behavior to accelerate the shift to e-commerce they have been seeking but have been slow to realize in recent years.
Grocers are now devoting more of their floor space to fulfill digital orders in response to customers’ increased food consumption at home and their growing reliance on online shopping.
Albertsons Cos., the country’s second-largest grocer, is testing the use of dozens of 9-by-12 foot temperature-controlled lockers in select stores in Chicago and California for customers to collect what they buy online. It is also introducing contactless payment in all of its more than 2,200 stores.
“The principle of that is to make things easier for the shopper,” said Vivek Sankaran, chief executive of the Boise, Idaho-based chain. He also said the pandemic has prompted the company to make a fundamental change by prioritizing digital investments.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group