Online groceries: boxes, responses, costs and deliveries

Grocery online
27 Jul 2018
The definitive affirmation of the sector passed by resolving the "delivery" nodes. The recent story of the giant Kroger appears to be a pathway the entire sector.

Online groceries taking off? Perhaps, according to a report by One Click Retail (A leading US company leader in digital commerce data assessments). According to OCR, in the second quarter of 2018, Amazon in the USA  has a recorded turnover of 650 million dollars, an increase of 40% over 2017 figures.

Figures that give Jeff Bezos 18% of the market share in the channel, almost double that of Walmart, their competitor by definition. Prime Day 2018 was the first since the Whole Foods acquisition, and the BIO supermarket network contributed quite a lot to the success of the event.

The customers of the brand have in fact been able to count on a $10 coupon that can be spent online for every $ 10 spent shopping in stores. In the 36 hours of the initiative, food sales increased by 25%.

Figures, however, that according to others in the market, do not indicate a true escalation in online grocery sales. The reaction of Kroger, the largest chain of food stores in the US and second larges retailer in the country (right in front of Amazon) was interesting.

Kroger, which operates in the region with 2,800 points of sale, has issued a note to remind everyone that in one day, it sells on average about 110 million products. Figures from Prime Day, but achieved using a shopping cart and daily shopping.

According to CEO Rodney McMullen, Kroger's online business grew by 66% in the first quarter. The delivery service was guaranteed within two hours by over 1,200 stores, plus 1,165 collection points. And the latter seemed to be the real nodal point for online groceries.

According to a survey by Forrester Analytics, almost a third of consumers don't buy from eCommerce platforms because of the high delivery costs.

For this reason, Kroger invested $250 million in a partnership with Ocado some two months ago. Purpose: automated warehouse management integrated with online order management.

Not only that, but a few days later it completed the acquisition of Home Chef, a company that delivers ingredients and pre-portioned recipes ("meal kits") to service subscribers. Currently, about three million meals a month are served at home by Home Chef. The announcement that online staff will be doubled by the end of 2019 is even more recent.

For online groceries, therefore, the best bet for everyone is to find ways of combining a reduction in delivery costs with a greater efficiency of the service. This opens a new chapter for state of the art technologies that are useful for this purpose. Among the next steps, at least judging by the investments that are underway, are also a self-driving minivan for the take up in home food deliveries.