Home » Grocery 2.0: How customer demand is reshaping supermarket delivery

Grocery 2.0: How customer demand is reshaping supermarket delivery

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Grocery delivery 2.0: Meeting customer demand

Traditional supermarkets entering the ultra-fast online landscape is no longer a prediction; it’s a reality. Leading UK supermarket chains from Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, to Co-op and ASDA all now hold partnerships with Deliveroo and Uber Eats — two platforms once occupying a micro niche within the food industry — to harness rapid delivery capabilities and seamlessly sell to wider audiences.

But the greater shift isn’t from physical to digital; it’s the merging of the two to create a unified consumer experience across both. With Deliveroo opening physical stores to sell goods in a more traditional environment, while also offering supermarkets shelf space in its dark stores, the acceleration of the industry’s next, holistic stage — Grocery 2.0 — is increasingly clear.

With that in mind, how can brands effectively tap into this golden opportunity while ensuring profitability, high-quality customer experiences, and optimal business growth? Crucially, how can they do this while ensuring their products and services are differentiated to avoid being commoditized by the marketplaces?

Convenience as a growth strategy

Grocery 2.0 maximizes convenience for consumers at a time when its importance continues to grow, by minimizing the gap between purchase and accessibility.

Customers are more likely to trust and stay loyal to a retailer when consistently receiving speedy, reliable, and trackable delivery, including same- and next-day services. 

Brands that utilize diverse, interconnected networks of regional carriers can best progress towards Grocery 2.0. This is because, firstly, they can optimize last-mile delivery options in-flight depending on the most efficient paths between supply chain checkpoints and customers, and secondly, the impacts of carrier-specific concerns, such as redundancies, can be mitigated by automatically reallocating a delivery to another carrier.

By responding quickly to create a seamless service for consumers, retailers can boost their reputation for great customer service, increasing both customer acquisition and retention; critical given the unique lifetime value of each grocery customer.

Tech such as delivery management platforms (DMPs) that offer retailers access to an integrated ecosystem of carriers can help enable increasingly agile shipping operations. The scalable nature of Software as a Service solutions, alongside automation, eases operational efficiency while insights from data-driven decision-making enhance overall performance and reduce administrative workload.

Sustainability wins the long game

Convenience isn’t the only factor to consider; 93% of consumers consider having environmentally-friendly delivery options to be an important decision criterion when online shopping.

This is another area where employing a diverse range of carriers across different regions can help to drive customer satisfaction. Modern delivery systems that choose the shortest, fastest routes using real-time traffic information and regional carrier specialization lead to reduced carbon footprints and fuel consumption. 

Sustainability preferences can be further accommodated by prioritizing the use of electric or hybrid vehicles. The introduction of autonomous vehicles, such as drones or self-driving cars, could then further strengthen these capabilities.

Diversification enhances business operations

Integrating various carriers into a unified delivery network paves the way for increased operational efficiencies, an elevated consumer experience, and reduced risks and redundancies. For those that have invested in their own fleet, augmenting with carriers gives the flexibility required to compete at scale. 

It’s therefore no surprise that more and more brands are growing their last mile delivery capabilities in this direction. Retailers that wish to stay ahead of the curve, establish themselves as leaders in the Grocery 2.0 movement, and provide superior customer experiences can start by embracing regional carrier diversification.

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