The pandemic shifted many areas of consumer behavior, but perhaps none so much as the acceleration of e-commerce and digital ordering. In fact, online grocery orders increased by 110% between March and April this year, according to data from Adobe. For grocery stores, this shift represents a whole new way of doing business—and along with it, a number of challenges to meet. Retailers know that there are a number of challenges with online grocery ordering and curbside pickup—here are four ways stores can improve their click-and-collect programs.
1. Ensure picked orders stay chilled until they’re picked up
Items that must stay cold or frozen until pickup can cause an array of inefficiencies. Food can thaw or get too warm, leading to spoilage and food safety issues; food can melt entirely, making a mess and causing the need for replacement in the order; and workers may postpone packing perishables until the customer arrives, possibly forgetting to add those items in when gathering the order last-minute. All three of these issues cause either a loss in product/profit or unhappy customers—and in some cases, both. But these problems can be easily avoided if stores add dedicated refrigerated storage space for online orders. Refrigerated Online Grocery Pickup cases, such as those from Leer, help stores prepare orders in a timely manner without having to worry about hold times.
2. Rise to increased order demands by adding more storage space
Another issue many retailers have encountered amid the increase in online grocery orders is not having enough or the right type of refrigerated space to store their online orders. This can mean that some orders don’t get picked until later, which can cause a backup in picking, not to mention longer wait times for customers when they come to get their groceries. More storage space may seem like a dream, but with customizable sizes of refrigerated grocery storage available, retailers can place storage units anywhere they see fit in their stores. Leer Refrigerated Online Grocery Pickup cases are specifically engineered to fit industry-leading Nestable Online Grocery Pickup Totes. This allows workers to pick and store more orders at once—rather than just hoping everything fits. By adding and optimizing more storage space, retailers can reliably meet the growing demand for online grocery orders.
3. Bump up safety measures with organized storage
Curbside pickup is a popular choice for a reason—there’s less contact, it’s fast and it’s considered a safer option than shopping in-store. For retailers, online grocery orders stored in refrigerated coolers represent an easy way to increase safety touchpoints. But not all coolers are designed equally. In fact, Leer refrigerated storage units are built around the dimensions of a standard grocery tote. Because of this, organization is easier within the cooler, and items only need to be touched once when being picked and packed and then once more when being pulled for delivery, rather than multiple times as workers shift items around on a shelf to make space for other orders as they would with a cooler with different dimensions. Since grocery totes can be stacked and organized neatly, these refrigerated cases make it easier to adhere to heightened safety measures.
4. Increase order accuracy to boost customer satisfaction
Perhaps the biggest challenge retailers face when fulfilling click-and-collect orders is ensuring every item is included in the order. This may seem like a no-brainer—simply check off items as they’re picked—but unless there’s storage to accommodate chilled or frozen items, workers may leave them off the order with the intention of adding them in closer to the customer’s pickup time. Unfortunately, this way can leave a lot of room for error—at last minute, workers may forget to include perishables with the rest of the prepared order, which leads to consumers missing items from their orders, and—of course—unsatisfied customers. This can cause a loss in sales and a bad reputation for the store—which can have big consequences if it happens to a lot of people, or even just to the same customer more than once. Thankfully, it’s easy to avoid missing items in online orders when stores have refrigerated storage available for online grocery orders—especially storage cases designed to fit grocery storage totes. This way, orders can be kept in their totes until pickup rather than being spread out to ensure everything fits in the cooler. With adequate, specially designed space onsite for order picking, no items get left behind, and customers stay happy.
Refrigerated grocery pickup storage from Leer can solve and prevent a lot of problems for grocers, and with this year’s increase in online grocery orders not showing any sign of slowing anytime soon, it’s important for retailers to be prepared. To learn more about the solutions available that make click-and-collect grocery orders easier on store employees and safer for customers, click here.