5 Benefits of Online Grocery Shopping: How You and Your Customers Both Win

As a grocery store owner, you're always looking for ways to grow your business and keep your customers happy. With the continued rise of online shopping, you may wonder if it's worth investing in a point of sale (POS) solution capable of offering online shopping to your customers.

Imagine: You’re a single parent. It’s been a hectic week, and you’re coming up on an even more hectic weekend. You’re trying to get everything done, keep the kids fed, clean up the house, and shuttle your children around to a dozen activities and play dates. 

You know you must head to the grocery store before Monday morning hits, but you simply don’t have the time. In this scenario, don’t you wish that your favorite grocery store offered online grocery shopping?

In this blog post, we'll explore the advantages of online grocery shopping and grocery e-commerce and show how they can benefit your business. 

The Basics: Benefits of Online Grocery Shopping

Online shopping has been growing in popularity over the past few decades. In the wake of the COVID-19 lockdowns, more and more consumers are opting for the convenience of online shopping for everything from Christmas gifts to household staples. 

As more consumers turn to online shopping for their daily essentials, grocery store owners need to stay on top of the trends in the industry.

Related Read: 5 Steps to Build the Ideal Grocery Store Business Plan

If you’re thinking of letting this particular trend pass you by, we’d caution you against sitting it out! If independently owned grocery stores fail to offer online shopping options, customers may turn to larger chain stores or online retailers for their grocery needs. 

By offering online grocery shopping, you can retain your existing customers and attract new ones to your business. Online shopping also provides valuable customer data that can help you make informed business decisions and improve your overall customer experience.

One trend that has emerged in online grocery shopping is the popularity of buying online, picking up in-store (BOPIS). This service offers your customers the convenience of online shopping with the added benefit of avoiding delivery fees and wait times. By implementing BOPIS, you can cater to customers who prefer to shop online but still want the option to pick up their items in person. BOPIS can also increase foot traffic in your store, additional sales, and more.

With all this in mind, let’s take a closer look at five key benefits you can enjoy when you begin offering online grocery shopping to your customers.

Schedule a Demo

1. Increased Sales

Let’s start with one of the most exciting benefits of offering online grocery shopping: increased sales. How can offering online shopping increase your sales? Simple: By partnering with delivery services like Instacart or Local Express, you can reach a wider audience and attract customers who may not have considered your store before. 

Another benefit of partnering with delivery services is that these apps may promote your store through their own marketing and merchandising efforts. When customers are browsing the app for delivery options, the applications may recommend your store. This increased visibility may result in more sales. 

Related Read: 8 Trends That Will Define the Grocery Industry

Additionally, customers who are unable to leave their homes due to medical reasons or those who prefer the convenience of delivery will appreciate the option of shopping at your store online. This can result in a boost in sales and new customers.

2. Increased Customer Convenience

Offering online grocery shopping provides customers the convenience they seek in today's fast-paced world. Your customers are busy, and, let’s face it: grocery shopping isn’t most people’s favorite activity. 

Offer your customers the ability to avoid the hassle of in-store shopping and instead shop from the comfort of their own homes. They will appreciate the flexibility this option offers them.  

Advertising this convenience to both new and existing customers will help you attract and retain more customers. You may also choose to use customer surveys and data to understand what your customers want and tailor your online shopping experience accordingly.

3. Improved Customer Retention

As we briefly mentioned in the last section, offering online grocery shopping can help you retain your existing customers and turn them into raving fans of your business. Though the convenience of online shopping may help with retention, that is not the only advantage online shopping can offer your business.

Offering online shopping gives you a greater ability to market special promotions and incentives to your existing customers. Take advantage of the customer data you collect through online orders to personalize your marketing efforts and create a better customer experience.

Additionally, research shows that nearly half of US shoppers expect to grocery shop online at least some of the time. By offering this solution at your store, you avoid the danger of a previously-loyal customer looking elsewhere when they need to shop online one week…and finding a new store they decide to switch to altogether.

4. Increased Efficiency

Offering online shopping can feel intimidating and look, from a distance, like a potential logistical nightmare. However, when you implement it correctly, online shopping can increase your efficiency and reduce costs in your grocery store. 

Related Read: 4 Grocery POS Multi-Site Management Features

How so? Let’s take a look at a few items:

  • With fewer customers in the store, you may not need as many employees on the floor, resulting in reduced labor costs.
  • Processing online orders can be faster than in-store orders, allowing you to process more orders in less time.
  • Partnering with delivery services like InstaCart can further reduce labor costs by eliminating the need for staff to pick and pack orders. 

Combining the wins from these three efficiency-increasing opportunities can result in significant cost savings over time.

5. Access to Real-Time Data

Lastly, let’s discuss an often-overlooked benefit of offering online grocery shopping: access to real-time inventory data and analytics. 

When you implement a solution that integrates with online ordering, like IT Retail, your software will automatically update inventory levels when online orders come in. As a result, you can more easily manage stock levels and reduce waste. These features will help streamline your inventory processes and reduce costs associated with overstock or running out of stock. 

Additionally, the shopping data from online orders can provide valuable insights into customer purchasing patterns and demographics. You can then use this information to make data-driven decisions about which products to stock, how much inventory to keep on hand, and what promotions to offer to your customers. 

Enjoy the Benefits of Online Grocery Shopping Today

If you want your grocery store to succeed in the modern market, you need to stay on top of trends and customer demands. If you aren’t exploring offering online grocery shopping, you’re running the risk of falling behind.

It can be overwhelming to think of implementing a POS solution capable of offering online shopping experiences to your customers, but with the right partner, you can make a smooth transition to a solution that can help you boost sales and delight your customers.

IT Retail offers a simple solution that integrates with all main e-commerce platforms, enables online and delivery ordering, and helps you leverage a massive delivery network.

See how IT Retail can help you move your business online today by requesting a free demo!