Grocery stores are witnessing a seismic shift in innovations that are related to their customer needs and their core processes. These new innovations are working their way to close certain gaps and garner better profits than before. However, this might be the start of uncovering the hidden potential that lies in the online grocery delivery market.
Tech-based features, however small or big, have always played a decisive role in the overall buying process. The rise of new delivery models toward convenience and safety has blurred the boundaries of customer shopping patterns and behaviors. Coupled with the rise of smartphones, innovations backed by technology are not limited to deliveries.
Features like digital payment methods, in-app messaging, and real-time tracking have enhanced customer satisfaction and the interactive experience more than ever. In this blog, learn more about these features in-depth, as well as the latest and future innovations that surround them.
Timeline of Innovations in Grocery Delivery
Everything remained the same in the grocery marketplace until the internet swooped in, and with it came new forms of communication. It didn’t take much time for the grocery business to turn into an e-grocery. These grocery businesses started to take orders from the internet, bringing in eye-popping amounts of profit. Many internet start-ups launched their websites during the early 2000s to enter the online grocery industry until the dot-com crash.
The future of the e-grocery business was looking bleak until smartphones came into existence and started a new wave of convenience. At that time, without much technological impact on paper, these innovations were hardly put into practice for consumers.
Back then, a grocery store had many branches of supply and demand to attract customers with new essentials. However, migrating all these operations to a digital platform wasn’t easy. Moreover, most grocers sourced their deliveries from existing grocery stores to reduce operational costs. Over the years, on-demand delivery apps have improved this line of communication to successfully track goods and deliveries with ease.
In between all this, regular trips to grocery stores have been a comforting habit for many people. Nearly 40% of those surveyed said that they make a weekly trip to the grocery store. However, the lack of availability of groceries or ‘out-of-stock’ food items has presented many difficulties in this trillion-dollar market. So how can today’s grocer thrive, differentiate, and fulfill the ever-growing consumer demands all from a single platform? The answer lies in the on-demand delivery model of mobile apps.
Running a Grocery Business in the Smartphone Era
If you do local grocery market research, you can easily get an idea of how to run this business. Independent grocery stores have their own warehouses, which source their daily essentials whenever grocery shortages are met. Convenience stores offer freshly delivered groceries as well as other food items, acting as a farm-to-table marketplace.
Since groceries are essential to every class of society, running a grocery business is always competitive. Moreover, grocery stores generally have thin profit margins because of high overhead costs, including rent, utilities, and labor. These costs can eat into profit margins, thus forcing today’s grocers to turn to an on-demand model. Here, the presence of mobile apps could level the playing field by bringing more transparency into the supply chain.
Innovations in On-Demand Grocery Delivery Apps
With better use of app analytics and operational data, a grocery business can look deeply into its consumer buying behavior. Modern grocers can use data related to the types of orders successfully fulfilled to minimize costs across the distribution chain. Thereby, innovations related to better resource planning and location-based insights are just the start for these modern grocers.
Examples include working with third-party carriers or acquiring a delivery partner that has its own on-demand delivery app. Through these apps, new orders can be processed with a quick outlook when compared to a person doing grocery shopping. Overall, the era of smartphones has introduced new modes of innovation that were not even possible to think of in the first place.
Following are the top innovations that have emerged in the mobile app realm of the grocery delivery business.
Consumers are more likely to continue shopping with retailers that offer insights based on items they already use and enjoy. These relevant and more closure recommendations form unique connections from an early stage. As a result, the total sales of groceries have increased by one to two percent globally.
Now, these innovations have led a notable 75% of shoppers to provide them personalized offers based on their early purchases. To satisfy this demand, many emerging start-ups have leveraged artificial intelligence (AI) to find meaning in the mounds of data they receive every day. This has been a major development in terms of learning about customer behavior and buying patterns.
Innovative Customer Experience
The consumer of today prioritizes grocery shopping for a better experience with a quick and detailed overview of their purchases. In other words, they prefer to buy groceries where product information is just one click away.
The grocery delivery market has taken these preferences into account. It has introduced many concepts to elevate in-store and on-demand grocery delivery experiences. One notable change is the use of machine learning and sensors for automatic billing as soon as the consumer walks out of the store.
The same goes for app-based grocery stores, where suitable recommendations are shown if an item is no longer available. These new and relevant recommendations related to their previous orders allow the consumer to have more options to choose from.
Moreover, today, apps are developed to complement the grocery store shopping experience as well. They have in-built barcode scanners, which allow the consumer to see product information and details related to their country of origin.
Tracking groceries in real-time is a visually rich feature that is essential to have in every grocery delivery app. It allows your customers to see the current status of their grocery orders on their smartphones.
Not only has this increased transparency between the delivery provider and the consumer, but it has also evolved the way people look at online grocery shopping. Likewise, information related to the status of the order can be seen at consistent intervals via push notifications as well. The content of these notifications, including ETA, among others, is changed every second until the very end.
Face ID and Biometric Login
This is a technological innovation that is not only secure but is also modern and convenient for today’s smartphone users. Many on-demand app businesses have added this functionality to save consumers the headache of entering passwords and usernames.
Furthermore, a face ID or a biometric option is more suitable to choose when dealing with a sensitive or high-risk action, such as making a purchase.
Voice Based Instruction
Voice-assisted technology, when used correctly, can be used for a wide variety of applications these days. Once such an application of this feature has grown with exceptional interest in delivery options, voice instruction is a small but effective innovation. Initially, most grocery delivery apps allow customers to write delivery instructions for the driver.
Now, this has been evolved to voice notes to speed up the last-mile delivery phase. These notes are recorded and stored in the app for the user to modify as per their location. This feature enhances the overall efficiency of the task of grocery deliveries for delivery partners. In essence, they don’t have to ask for directions as they have clear voice-enabled instructions.
Start A Grocery Business Backed By Innovations
Suppose you’re looking for a way to stay ahead of the curve in grocery retail and delivery. In that case, it is time for digital transformation strategies to help your business grow.
These strategies often look hard to attain, but in reality, they are much easier to implement. One such strategy has been the investment in ready-made apps for quick launch on Android and iOS platforms. This is a growing popular choice among entrepreneurs today to compete with top industry giants.
You can easily tick off every feature and customize the source code of the app built on a pre-built solution. With the help of an experienced white-label firm, you can easily buy an InstaCart Clone app and rebrand it in just 1-2 weeks.
Imagine every single feature and service that Instacart offers in its app. Your customers can enjoy the same benefits with simple-to-use navigation, an interactive and engaging user experience, and much more.
All you have to do is test the demo, see the massive cost differences, and come up with creative announcements before launch day!
Today’s smart grocers can make accurate decisions with the right data and have set the tone for others to follow. These innovations have reshaped how grocers and individuals interact, bringing them closer than before. Overall, if you can make the experience about more than just ticking goods off a list, you’re in business!