HOW TO SUPPORT THE BOOM OF ONLINE GROCERY ORDERS
AUTOMATION CAN HELP GROCERS EXPAND E-GROCERY EFFORTS
To say the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the grocery industry is an understatement. It brought on the rise of e-Grocery, considered the “new norm” for all consumers, in all demographics. When thinking about how to support this surge in online grocery volumes, grocers face a number of questions:
- How do I improve my customer’s order pickup experience?
- Is there a way to mitigate storage issues in my store?
- In what ways can I streamline my back-end processes without disrupting my entire operation?
In the new resource, “How to Support the Post-Pandemic Increase in Online Grocery Volumes,” we walk through new ways to evaluate your current online grocery program and find solutions for long-term success. Read an excerpt below, then download the full version to learn more.
MITIGATE STORAGE ISSUES WITHIN THE STORE
With the increase in online grocery volumes, grocers have a unique issue when it comes to storing their customer’s online orders. According to research by Retail Feedback Group of online shopping habits, 41 percent of online orders include produce items, 36 percent meat, 35 percent bakery, and 26 percent prepared foods & meals.
So cold food must be kept cold, frozen food must be kept frozen, and fresh food must be kept fresh. That means that grocers must sort already picked orders by temperature zone: ambient, refrigerated, and frozen and store them accordingly. Not only that, but they also must be organized and stored according to the scheduled pickup time as well.
Grocer’s backrooms weren’t designed to manage this “sort and store” for online orders. Many grocers have implemented temporary solutions, like storing ambient orders in grocery carts and placing the carts in the middle of aisles. This not only creates challenges for efficient sorting and staging workflows but can also negatively impact the in-store customer shopping experience.
For cold or frozen orders, some retailers are being forced to store their orders in their frozen and refrigerated section of their store. Other major grocers are replacing their snack aisles at the front of their stores to store orders in newly purchased freezers and refrigerators.
Some have made the decision to discontinue marginal in-store services, like cafes and poor performing pharmacies, to allocate more in-store space for online order staging and storage.
KEY SPACE COMPONENTS
Storing frozen foods
Storing refrigerated items
Space to sort orders by time and customer
What Can You Do as Your Program Expands?
There are no “one-size-fits-all” solutions to an online order storage setup; every grocery store footprint is unique and has its own set of challenges. As grocers begin to strategize for long-term growth, investing in temperature-controlled lockers or multi-use, automated storage, pickup, and retrieval can solve the space constraint issues grocers are facing today.
How We Can Help
Having a partner with a diverse portfolio of solutions that can accommodate just about any online grocery pickup, storage, and returns situation is key to implementing an efficient, cost-effective program.
Our systems are easy-to-use and ideal for both backroom and customer-facing deployments. Our solutions can be used in your stores, in your parking lot, or even at a remote location, saving valuable space in your stores.