Probably for most of us some time ago it was hard to imagine shopping for groceries over the Internet. When the delivery infrastructure was not so developed, and the shipment took several days, the risk of losing the freshness of the purchased products was very high. In the last few years, however, there has been a breakthrough, and technology and market pressure have forced a significant improvement in delivery times. Currently, we wait even less than 24 hours for a package ordered online. This significantly increased the interest in the e-grocery sector, but the real jump came with the growing popularity of click & collect purchases and thanks to companies providing brokerage services in shopping.
An unexpected growth catalyst
The second factor behind the sudden increase in the share of online grocery shopping was the outbreak of the pandemic, which initially forcibly kept us at home and later taught us habits to protect against the spread of the virus. We started using online orders en masse, the entire e-commerce sector experienced an unprecedented boom, which also affected grocery stores operating online. Not without significance in this difficult time is also the greater availability of online products and a better price.
To show more vividly what growth we are talking about, let's pay attention to the Disruption & Uncertainty - The State of Grocery Retail 2021 - Europe report, created by McKinsey & Company, according to which the entire European e-grocery market grew by as much as 55% in 2020, where in the previous years, the same growth rate was around 10% during the year. The largest increases were recorded in the United Kingdom and Italy, where it was over 60%, with a record result in Sweden of as much as 100%. It sounds impressive, and yet it does not reflect the real potential of the market which, due to the need for sudden changes, has not managed to fully adapt to the new situation and will fully develop in the following years. This is confirmed by research, according to which in the near future we will continue to observe the growth of the e-grocery market, and its dynamics will decrease by only 10% compared to what we observed in 2020.
The pandemic is slowly over, forecasts remain optimistic
According to other research - Consumer Goods Truth & Beauty Index conducted on a sample of 2,300 respondents by Hero Digital, forecast shows that in 2022 alone there will be a 21% increase in sales of food products through online stores. The study also showed that the millennial generation, i.e. people born in the late 20th century who are now entering adulthood and starting to live on their own, have the greatest share in this new trend. As many as 43% of them admitted that they sometimes buy food products online.
The reason for this may be the fact that, as in many other areas, also here the difficult time of the pandemic has become only an impulse to change consumer habits. The necessity to use other methods of purchasing products meant that the society noticed the potential and advantages in them that it had not taken into account before, and which can significantly improve the quality of life. Therefore, the e-grocery sector can also be expected to develop after the pandemic has completely stopped.
Why do we want to buy online?
The advantages of online groceries, of course, apart from a safe, non-contact form, can be seen mainly in the much greater availability of products, especially those that are not popular. We are talking about any dietary, ecological, vegan or specialist food. For customers who meticulously create their shopping lists, the fact that they can accurately and calmly check all information about products, choose what they really need, is something thanks to which they buy proven products and incur less unnecessary expenses.
Convenience is also important, which includes the possibility of making purchases at any time of the day or week, around the clock, as well as a convenient form of home or pick-up delivery, which saves time, money and nerves. For standard parcels, such parcel machines have been known for years, but the technology advancing allows us to create a locker in a way that will work with fresh food products. SelfMaker’s Coolockers is such a device. The device, which is a self-service station for collecting parcels, equipped with cooling and freezing modules, to which also thermally sensitive products can be delivered without the risk of losing freshness. Find out more about Coolockers HERE.
The future is here and now
The pace of technology development that we have experienced in recent years forces us to adapt very quickly to new, often previously unknown situations. Therefore, what seemed difficult or impossible is slowly becoming the norm today. It is similar with online grocery shopping. In order to cope with the inevitable changes, grocery chains should give their customers the option of making purchases over the Internet, with their collection on the spot in a supermarket or at automatic collection points.
If you want to learn more, or want to know the most beneficial solutions that will take your business to the next level, please contact the SelfMaker Sales Department. Our experts, thanks to many years of experience in the market, will propose the optimal path to success.