Technology

How Technology Can Help Grocers Prepare for Holiday Grocery Orders

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It’s no secret that the coronavirus has upended the food retail marketplace. What’s more, there doesn’t appear to be any immediate “return to normal” in sight. Consumer routines have changed, along with their shopping and eating habits. They’re ordering groceries online more than ever before, shopping at different times and buying different items than they did pre-pandemic. So, how can food retailers keep up and prepare for what’s next? Technology can help.

A shift in shopping; a surge in sales

As online orders reach record highs and pre-packaged items fly off the shelves, food retailers are grappling both with these shifts in shopping and surging sales. It’s not enough that to be working day and night to stock shelves-now, they also need to keep up with changing habits and demands.  

Forbes reports that online grocery sales are projected to increase from $29B in 2019 to $34.4 B in 2020. That’s a significant increase. In fact, one third-party grocery delivery provider sold $700M worth of groceries per week in the first two weeks of April 2020–a whopping 450% increase from December 2019.

Technomic’s June 2020 Supermarket Foodservice Monitor report found that 25% of grocers realized an increase in ready-to-eat rotisserie chicken sales during morning hours; 99% of open prepared food departments were actively stocking grab-and-go merchandise; and 11% of retailers essentially closed the prepared foods departments as part of their adaptation plans for COVID-related news.

With this shift in consumer behaviors, retailers need to implement a way to effectively handle these changes or risk falling behind.  

A lasting solution

As the economy opens back up, consumers will likely hold onto many of these new shopping habits. Food retailers need to be able to keep up, both now and in the future, with a high volume of online orders. But, how can they ensure that every customer who places an order receives it on time and without errors?

For example, holiday shopping is sure to look different this year, and preparing now will ensure retailers can meet their customers’ demands.  Exploring technology can help to meet these challenges so that retailers can capitalize on delivery and curbside pickups. Packyge, for instance, allows grocers to streamline orders that come in on one user-friendly dashboard that shows retailers and staff exactly which orders came in first, and which are scheduled for pick up or delivery.  It also shows metrics of when the busiest times are so stores can accurately schedule staff to meet demand. It’s an end-to-end solution, from a consumer-facing, mobile-friendly site to a simple, store associate-facing application, perfect for creating a streamlined workflow. 

Streamlining the grocery order/pickup platform means happier customers, better reviews, repeat orders and great word of mouth. And with technology such as solutions from Packyge, consumers can also customize their prepared foods orders and meals with options that include different pizza toppings; a build-your-own sandwich tool; and many more. It’s food just the way they like it.

With no late orders and high accuracy rates, retailers can feel confident in their ability to offer convenient, quality service to their customers. And, as food departments begin to resume business as usual, technology can also help streamline deli, prepared foods and catering orders. Technology makes it easy for retailers, their staff and customers—and a little “easy” is something everyone can use right now.   

To find out more about how Packyge can help, visit www.packyge.com/prepared-foods/

This post is sponsored by Packyge

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