In the wake of the pandemic, grocery stores are seeing record-breaking traffic. While in recent years, platforms such as Instacart, FreshDirect and Target-owned Shipt have provided new avenues for consumers to shop, COVID-19 accelerated this trend—forcing grocery stores to keep up with surging demand.
According to a CNBC report updated on Aug. 14, online grocery spending skyrocketed from making up 3% to 4% of total grocery spending prior to the pandemic to as much as 15% during the pandemic, according to research by consulting firm Bain & Company. Online grocery spending likely will remain at a level between 5% and 10% even after the pandemic, because many customers have downloaded apps, tried new services and discovered their conveniences, the company said.
With the March stay-at-home orders, about 39.5 million consumers (31% of U.S. households) used an online grocery delivery or pick-up service. That is more than double the 13% (16.1 million consumers) that used digital grocery solutions in August 2019, consulting firm Brick Meets Click reported.
Specific apps have reported record downloads. At the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March, Instacart, Walmart Grocery and Shipt respectively saw 218%, 160% and 124% increases in average daily downloads compared to the previous month, research from Apptopia said. Instacart earned a profit for the first time. But for grocery stores, managing orders from multiple platforms can be hectic.
Addressing online challenges
While brisk sales mean more dollars for stores, the uptick also presents challenges that include keeping up with demand and organizing orders correctly, which is where applications such as Packyge come into play. Packyge, a product platform and services company, has a comprehensive approach to order fulfillment.
Packyge provides omnichannel enablement, turning stores into active fulfillment centers. As stores are receiving orders from multiple platforms, such as Instacart, DoorDash or Postmates, Packyge can seamlessly accommodate the various channels. Associates can view all orders that pass through the store on one intuitive dashboard and access customer data across all orders and channels, helping to personalize the experience for shoppers. This makes it easier and faster for stores to manage incoming and outgoing orders as well as fulfill orders with lower cost and errors, avoiding long consumer wait times.
Packyge’s consolidated dashboard and analytics allow store managers to view customer and order insights in a consolidated form or at an individual store level. Furthermore, it integrates with existing commercial systems or homegrown systems. With all the options for buying food today, Packyge helps improve store associates’ efficiency and effectiveness to service an array of different types of orders.
Other features Packyge provides include custom workflows for each fulfillment type. When a shopper makes an order, Packyge provides real-time communication and notifications to the customer. It also provides a mobile-friendly consumer site that has order-ahead capability for customers, and can also integrate with mobile apps. The ease in executing orders allows Packyge to improve customer experiences and gain pivotal insights across stores and customer journeys.
In this rapid online grocery environment, stores don’t have a second to lose. To learn more about how Packyge can help save time and labor while enhancing the online ordering experience for customers, visit packyge.com
This post is sponsored by Packyge