Coronavirus has changed the course of many businesses. Several supermarkets have adopted new business strategies to survive in the market. As restaurants are closed, the generation that seldom visits the kitchen is getting used to cooking every day. Supermarkets across the world have reported a massive increase in their sales and revenue. As most people were �panic shopping,� the stocks got emptied faster than ever before; the providers find it challenging to fill their inventory. Here is how the COVID-19 changed the grocery shopping trends worldwide:
Lesser trips to the supermarkets:
Only essential commodity stores like supermarkets are open for people to curb the spread of coronavirus. People have taught themselves to avoid the infection by taking fewer trips to the supermarkets every month. WHO has advised people to stay indoors and always practice social distancing to remain safe. People will continue these measures until a promising vaccine is released. The number of times people visit supermarkets has drastically gone down. On average, people will shop for groceries more than three times a week, but as the situation is critical to step out, it has dropped down by 10 percent.
Online marketplaces for at the peak:
A year ago, online grocery shopping was not a popular choice for people, and most of them have no experience with these platforms. Reports indicate that only 3 percent of people used to buy groceries online, which has generated around $1.2 billion in 2019. But the tables have turned in 2020 as the total revenue of online grocery providers was $7.2 billion in June. This pandemic has created a perfect scenario for people to use these platforms and understand its real-time benefits.
The top tier on-demand grocery delivery companies like Amazon and Walmart are continually improving their standards and services to overcome their rivals. On the other hand, Instacart is doubling its workforce to make full use of this opportunity. Several supermarket owners have started to approach grocery app development companies to take their businesses online to survive. Entrepreneurs also launched e-commerce platforms for farmers to make the best of the opportunities. The online sales have boosted more than ten times during this pandemic as people have started to prefer fresh farm vegetables.
Remodeling the supermarkets:
As people have started to follow social distancing measures to protect themselves, supermarket owners have begun to rethink their spacing strategy. They have begun to move the shelves to widen the aisles for customers to walk freely and adopt newer sanitation methods to ensure their safety. Working hours have been decreased, and the stores are sanitized multiple times in a single day. Some people prefer these changes to stay even after the pandemic as they love the less-crowded stores in their neighborhood.
Health concerns have resulted in increased contactless payments and self-checkouts. Walmart has come up with an innovative solution to this problem and to promote social distancing measures. They have replaced the traditional checkout lines with an open plaza in their stores. A total of 34 terminals will be available, and so customers can move freely without having to touch each other in the crowd. Customers can now scan the products or ask an employee to do it for them and pay directly online instead of cash.
Some providers are also coming up with new strategies to include self-checkout stations in their stores and design a mobile app. Customers can download it on their smartphones and scan the products they buy directly via the smartphone camera and make payments as they pick products. John Owen, the associate director for food retail at Mintel, has said that the infrastructure of the supermarkets will continue to improve, and providers are aiming to improve the quality of their services.
A pullback in quantity:
It is natural customers feel confused about picking the right product from a supermarket. As a result, they tend to spend more time inside the supermarket, and it is not advisable in this situation. Entrepreneurs have decided to minimize the number of products sold for customers to pick at a faster pace. Supermarkets will not have free sample products for a while, and the customers will have lesser promotions for their products. As customers are already aware of the supermarket�s product placement, they will shop faster and spend less time inside.
Minimizing the number of products might seem like a dangerous move when it comes to business, but it is a bold move and gained attention from every direction. They are still able to perform exceptionally well despite the less number of products. It is a challenging situation for everyone, and customers have become more economical when it comes to spending.
Frozen food is performing equally well as groceries despite the pandemic. The sales are going up as people can easily store frozen food for several days and avoid coming out of their houses. The sales instantly catapulted to 94 percent right after the pandemic started, and it still holds a high number.
Increase in usage of localized services:
As the concerns over health and safety are increasing, people prefer to get products from local commodities. Many people have subscribed to community-supported agriculture platforms to offer online deliveries of milk and egg from a local dairy. It also extended to help struggling restaurants in the pandemic situation by turning them into provisioners as people are getting more aware of the healthy eating habits locally grown food products and groceries are selling at a tremendous pace.
In a nutshell:
Business analysts scrutinize the onset of COVID-19 as two sides of a coin. Although it has crippled several businesses worldwide, it has increased the revenue and credibility of on-demand grocery delivery businesses worldwide. Now will be the right time to approach a grocery delivery app provider to get started.