As the supermarket industry slowly evolves from being a place to go and fill up a buggy with groceries to one, especially in cosmopolitan cities like New York and San Francisco, where people and companies can order online and wait for their packages to be delivered at your door like Fresh Direct, Amazon, Boxed, and Jet.com, recently purchased for $3 billion by Walmart, the industry is growing and thriving.
With the disruptive impact of Amazon and other online retailers, consumers are more and more satisfied by taking the risk and ordering online. If you have Amazon Prime, for example, your items can be shipped to you within 24 to 48 hours, — even on Sundays. I cannot help take notice the USPS worker driving around my neighborhood filled with Amazon Prime boxes, delivering, rain or shine.
As the trend grows with online retail will the same be true with groceries?
Home grocery delivery presents different types of challenges:
- Cans can break and boxes can open. It is going to be crucial to have the groceries you ordered in tact before they reach your door.
- Frozen foods cannot sit out on your doorstep for no longer than 30 minutes, because it breaks the chain and the item decelerates in terms of shelf life if left unfrozen.
- Dairy products like milk need to be refrigerated quickly too or risk diminishing their shelf life.
- Where to store everything in your fridge: There is a chance and you order too much. How can you return the item? Where is the distribution center?
- Bags of ice break and melt fast. Is there a way to seal in the cold cubes?
These issues are going to arise and I think supermarkets have been thinking about these issues in advance. If not, they may think about starting. The supermarket is here to stay, regardless of what form it is in. People cannot eat their shirts, but they eat frozen pizza.