The convergence of retailers jockeying to enhance the in-store experience and folks becoming more comfortable with ordering food online has given rise to the continued adoption of mobile apps among grocers.
Among the latest developments in this domain is Schnuck Markets’ new Deli Order Ahead, which is now available in 18 of the St. Louis-based retailer’s locations for both traditional deli meats and cheeses as well as for prepared foods.
Accessible via its Schnucks Rewards app, customers can place their deli orders before leaving their homes with the new Deli Order Ahead, which provides a “simple and convenient lunch or dinner solution for our busy, on-the-go customers,” according to Ted Schnuck, VP of marketing for the 118-store family-owned company.
The app is designed as a way to “offer even more convenience to our customers and reduce their wait time,” Schnuck said, adding that 14 of the company’s 18 participating stores will also offer prepared foods via the app and kiosk ordering. Schnucks intends to monitor and evaluate customer response to the service to determine additional opportunities to expand Order Ahead to more service departments and stores throughout its geographic footprint, which consists of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Sale prices on deli items will be reflected in the Order Ahead deli app, which customers can use to place same-day orders up to one hour before the deli counter closes, or 30 minutes prior to their expected pickup time.
Customers placing deli orders will still need to pay in-store and will receive a text message confirming that their order has been filled and ready for pickup in the designated cooler near the deli, which will in turn trigger the order status in the app to be marked as “fulfilled.”
Schnucks’ expansion of Deli Order Ahead is in line with insights from a recent study from eMarketer, which projected grocery app usage to grow by 50% this year for food orders. To that end, other brick-and-mortar grocers are embracing the shift, including Wegmans Food Markets, which recently expanded prepared-meal delivery to more than 40 stores this year through a partnership with DoorDash.
Available through its new Meals 2Go mobile app, Wegmans rolled out the meal delivery app after testing it for more than a year in its Pittsford, N.Y., store. In addition to Pittsford, Wegmans’ Meals 2Go is also available in two Rochester, N.Y.-area locations, as well as its Dulles store in Sterling, Va. The retailer said delivery from two additional Rochester-area stores would begin this week with an eye on more than 40 stores available by the end of the year and even more in 2020.
“We promise to ‘make great meals easy,’ and it doesn’t get any easier than this,” Erica Tickle, Wegmans e-commerce group manager, said in a release. “What’s unique about Wegmans Meals 2Go is the variety of delicious menu options. During the year-long pilot at our Pittsford store, we listened and learned, fine-tuned the app, and created a menu that had something for everyone at home or at work.”
Meals through Wegmans’ DoorDash delivery is available within an approximate five-mile radius of participating stores. Delivery is available on orders of $20 or more, with diners able to choose from food prepared in-store, including sushi, pizza, wings, subs, salads, soups, Asian, ready-to-heat meals, desserts and beverages.
These latest developments find us wondering who will be next in the grocery world to jump aboard the fast-moving fresh meals’ pickup and/or delivery app bandwagon?