After going online to purchase a new pair of sneakers and a have my favorite pair of shoes repaired as well as order a couple of books, all of which were delivered to my door within three days it was shipped I am becoming more and more convinced that one day, I will request to have grocery items shipped directly to me.
I am convinced that online grocery delivery is going to be a mega trend that is disruptive and groundbreaking.
Amazon’s online grocery store that delivers to your door is called AmazonFresh (although I checked their site and they do not yet deliver to my area on the east coast; that may change fast, I’m assuming) They do deliver next day in cities like New York.
Google has Google Fresh, which I tried to see if they delivered in my area as well as New York City. They don’t deliver in the outer NY boroughs like Queens, however they do deliver in Manhattan. Basically the idea is to select product from stores that are partnered with them on their website like Costco and Fairway. I would not be surprised if they add companies (or at least try to in the NYC area like Morton-Williams or Whole Foods). Google Fresh was launched in 2015.
Then there is Boxed.com, which surprisingly began out of Chieh Huang, the CEO, garage in August 2013 and has raised over $100 million dollars in funding. They have a distribution center in New Jersey and since then has added distribution centers in Georgia and Nevada.
The Unique Selling Position (USP) for Jet.com and Boxed.com is that they offer free shipping on orders over $50 and do not charge membership fees, — a big plus. In addition, boxed.com delivers same day in NYC.
Another online grocery market is freshdirect.com, which began in 2002 and delivers groceries for all types of occasions and is available in the NYC and Philadelphia area. I called their customer service department to see how long it took to speak with a human and after listening to a recording and being notified that my call would be recorded after 10 seconds I hung up. I was not thrilled with their website. It came off as boring and uninspired compared to Jet.com and Boxed.com, which were vibrant and engaging.
I did attempt to contact the Jet.com customer service department at 1-855-538-4323 and had to wait to get dial tone. After the recorded robot greeted me with a voice that sounded like God, with a deep echoish voice who actually mocked himself that he could not help you because “I am a recording.” However, I was confident that I was going to get customer service rep to pick up the phone. Online grocery companies would benefit from a toll free number that consumers can easily see. Yes, online is always the quickest way, but if the site of the consumer goes down, it would be helpful if a customer can speak to a rep and place an order over the phone.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal, Walmart was looking into purchasing Jet.com for reportedly $3 billion. I was stunned that their market valuation was that high. They do have an edge in that they deliver in my area. And I would love to know who uses their services: is the elderly, millennial or the 24/7 corporate exec. who does not want to deal with walking up and down the aisles of a supermarket.
Thus, supermarkets better be looking into delivering groceries to your door soon. Millennials who are busy as well as the elderly would benefit from this service. In two years I would not be surprised to see a sharp spike in consumers buying their groceries online having them delivered to their home or office. The supermarkets are still building brick and mortar stores to underserved areas is fantastic, but online delivery is becoming more and more common, and this will apply to groceries too.
If you already shop for groceries online please feel free to discuss your overall experience.
Looking for affordable, healthy meals online check out: