Online grocery shopping is still in its infancy in terms of market share, but it is growing at a rapid rate. Even though some customers are still warming up to the idea of grocery e-commerce, it has the potential to be a huge industry disrupter, and most brick-and-mortar supermarkets are beginning to see that. Every day we see more and more companies coming out with their own grocery delivery and curbside pickup programs, as each one realizes that without doing so, it may have a hard time keeping up with the competition.
In the past few days, three more chains have introduced their own online food shopping programs.
Martin's Super Markets launched Groceries to Go, its online grocery shopping and pickup service, at its store in Granger, IN, reported South Bend Tribune. Amy McClellan, vice president of sales and marking for Martin's, says customers have been asking for the service for a while, and it took the chain about two years to roll it out. The company hopes to start expanding the service to other stores in the next four to six weeks. The current end goal is to have Groceries to Go in half of Martin's 22 stores. Christine Enyeart, the company's online shopping coordinator, says there has been a lot of curiosity about the service because there are not a lot of programs like it in the area. She says young working moms seem to be the most excited, but they are not the only demographic interested.
Ralphs Grocery Company also introduced online grocery shopping and curbside pickup at its Carlsbad, CA, store. It debuted the service, called ClickList, on August 5. ClickList is exclusive to Ralphs' parent company, the Kroger Co, and the Ralphs Carlsbad location is the first of 12 Ralphs stores scheduled to offer the service by the end of 2016. Nationally, Kroger has been testing online shopping and collecting customers' feedback since November 2014. Kroger offers ClickList at more than 120 stores in its seven divisions across the country.
CV’s Family Foods will also launch its first online shopping platform in partnership with Rosie, an e-commerce solutions company, at its Fort Smith, AR, store. CV's is a 31-store grocery chain serving Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas under the CV’s Savers Club, Marvins Savers Club and Pawhuska Savers Club banners, reported The Shelby Report. CV’s Family Foods, is a member of Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), and is the largest AWG retailer to team up with Rosie in 2016 and is the e-commerce company's first store partner in Arkansas.
John Talbott, a senior lecturer and associate director of the Center for Education and Research in Retailing at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, sums up why online grocery shopping has become so popular: when it comes to shopping, consumers want to enjoy the experience. He notes most people don't love hauling a cart full of everyday necessities up and down the aisles of a grocery store, so if they don't like it and can avoid it, they will.
This need for convenience and time-saving is a definite driver of consumer purchasing decisions, and it will likely propel grocery e-commerce into controlling a major part of the food retailing market in the coming years.