In the current market dynamics, there are numerous business models pertaining to ecommerce that have come to the forefront. From electronics to food, you can buy anything online. However, for entrepreneurs looking to launch an online ecommerce business, there are some key issues that need special attention. The fact of the matter is that when you are selling a product, you need to take its shelf life into account.
A mobile phone can stay in your inventory for years, but if you are selling groceries or any other perishable product, you need to take cognizance of the fact that time is not on your side. Perishable product supply and delivery to consumers is a critical aspect of this business model. Overlooking it will not only result in wrong approach but can also result in shutdown of the online business, which has been the case for several such online businesses.
Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of online grocery business when it comes to supply and delivery, let us take into account, how to make your online grocery store different from the rest of the competition.
If you are offering the same thing as the competition, how would you manage to capture the market? In the current market dynamics, the consumers often take notice of the disrupters. This is why it is often said that in the ecommerce arena, in order to stand out of the competition, you need to offer something that is different from what’s out there. When it comes to unique and must have features in online grocery stores, one can offer pre-defined delivery schedules or zero delivery cost or even happy hours. Another aspect you can incorporate is a VR experience where consumers get a virtual experience of the shopping.
Most of the ecommerce businesses these days are built on readymade solutions, which play a crucial part in the functionality and user experience being offered. When it comes to online grocery stores, you need to take into account each and every aspect related to online grocery shopping and find the right ecommerce solution. In addition to that, you need to also ensure that the platform you choose is customizable making it easy to scale.
For a long time, online brick and mortar shops used to design their shops differently that reflected the business itself. The same applies to online ecommerce businesses. Due to the severe competition in the market, it becomes highly essential that you design your website in a way that it truly reflects who you are. You can also incorporate a color psychology to increase the conversion rate of your website.
When it comes to perishable products like in an online grocery store, consumers mostly know what they want to buy. This makes it vital for you as an online grocery store owner to make it easy for consumers to find the products. Even supermarkets design their store aisles in such a way to make it easier and faster for consumers to buy products. Convenience is the biggest reason why people have moved online and if you are not offering the same on your website, then the whole point for online grocery store is nullified.
One just cannot emphasize on this aspect much. One of the biggest grudges that consumers have with online shopping is that they cannot see or feel the product before making the purchase. One part of that problem can be solved by having high quality images of the products on your online store. Additionally, studies have even shown that when it comes to items related to food, having high quality and appealing images can increase the conversion rate of the website.
There are times when consumers might have some query regarding a product, delivery options or functionality of your website. Rather than putting a wall between you and your consumers, you should offer them an easy way to contact you with their query. Such a gesture goes a long way and is helpful in building a trust among the minds of the consumers.
One of the most important and most effective ways to reach out to consumers and increase your user base is to market your business on social media. There have been several success stories of online businesses that have used social media as a powerful tool to connect with their prospective consumers. When it comes to online grocery stores, you can also have an option of cart sharing where consumers can connect their cart with their friends with the help of social media integration and do collective buying.
All the above mentioned tips will ensure that your online grocery store does have an edge over the competition. But what about supply chain management. It is one of the critical aspects of an online grocery store. Let us take a closer look at essentials of perishable product’s supply chain:
Packaging is an important part of an ecommerce business that cannot be overlooked. Nobody would like the items they order in shambles upon delivery. This is why you need to design a packaging that can keep the items intact. This becomes even more crucial when it comes to perishable products. From eggs to fruits, the items that you would be delivering are highly delicate and are prone to get damaged easily. Moreover, the packaging should also have the provision to keep the items fresh and not get affected by weather.
As already discussed, when it comes to shipping perishable items, time is not your strongest ally. This is why you need to understand what it takes to make and ship the items in a timely fashion. In addition to it, the delivery must also be in accordance to the preferred time of the consumer. You need to analyze the time taken for packaging as well as delivery and streamline the overall process to ensure the item reaches the consumers in a timely manner and without any hiccups.
Logistics is not an easy thing to crack, which is why many online groceries store partner with shipping providers for better management of their services. Before choosing the right partner, you need to decide upon the turnaround time for a successful order fulfillment. You need to be aware that delivering the items intact and in timely manner is crucial for your business, which is why you need to choose the partner that you can trust the most. Also ensure that the delivery overcharge does not hurt your profit margin.
The fact of the matter is that online grocery stores work on a very thin margin. On top of that delivery charges put a lot of burden on store owner when it comes to competitive prices. Rather than putting upfront delivery changes, you could accommodate the delivery charges within the product price itself. But for that, you need to set a perception in the minds of your consumers that you offer premium services for those extra charges.
Remember that if you have a unique product and service that consumers want, they might be more willing to pay high shipping costs than you think!
The future of online grocery stores is highly lucrative. In US alone the online grocery market is expected to balloon five folds and cross $100 billion in the coming few years. This offers immense growth potential for entrepreneurs looking to enter this sector and launch their own online grocery business. By taking care of these key issues related to this sector, one can easily ensure success in their business.
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