Grocery E-Commerce: 4 Basics to Master for Success

If you’re anything like us, you love hearing your phone ding and seeing , “Your delivery driver is arriving soon.” 

Platforms like SkipTheDishes, DoorDash, Postmates, and UberEats, and websites like Amazon are changing the way people shop for groceries. Grocery e-commerce offers a new kind of scalability, operational efficiency, and profitability for grocery stores without losing touch with their customers. It is creating a narrow window of opportunity for grocers of all sizes to seize a competitive advantage. 

If you’re considering diving into the e-commerce world and offering your customers online orders and pick-up or delivery, look no further. We’re here to help you master a few basics so you can start to take advantage of the efficiency and profitability that e-commerce can offer.


Grocery E-Commerce: 4 Steps to a Great Customer Experience

For grocery stores, e-commerce brings the potential for a new revenue stream, and can be a profitable avenue when executed correctly. However, without a clear strategy and plan, diving into grocery e-commerce can hurt your business more than help it. 

A few important considerations include investment costs, finding delivery drivers, creating an enticing website, finding the right technology, and maintaining good customer relationships with a very limited customer interaction. 

Mastering the basics of e-commerce can help ensure that this new endeavor is a profitable strategy for you, and an enjoyable experience for your customers. With the right tools in place, you can open new doors for growth and revenue, and we’re here to help walk you through a few key basics to master.


1. Prioritize the Customer Experience

For e-commerce to be a success, you have to make the customer experience as easy, efficient, and enjoyable as possible. Writing detailed product descriptions, making sure ingredient information is easy to find, and ensuring high-quality fulfillment practices will make shopping online a seamless experience for your customers. 

A frictionless buyer journey starts with making it easy for them to find the products they want, and making sure you have the item in stock, or communicating clearly if you don’t.

An easy and efficient process will get customers coming back to you and ordering more. Important considerations include: 

  • Communicating shipping or delivery costs
  • Delivery wait times
  • Making a commitment to stick with those promises 

You need a straightforward, cost-effective, and seamless path to get items into the hands of your customers. Once you have your customer journey planned out, the key is to minimize costs while ensuring the best possible customer experience.


2. Marketing Strategies 

Your store’s branding makes up a big part of your online identity. Offering e-commerce opens up the doors to entirely new customers. Consider running local ads online through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Google in order to attract new local customers through online spaces. You should also post about online ordering on any social media pages you already have up.

Just like shopping in-store, retention is paramount to your success. Strategies like loyalty programs or subscription plans are great ways to engage customers and encourage repeat business. Returning customers spend more, are easy to sell to, and require less effort to bring back to your store. Rewarding customers for purchases through a point system helps offer some sort of incentive for loyalty. 

In addition to retention campaigns, creating customer engagement strategies can help them feel like they aren’t missing out on the experience of grocery shopping by doing it online. Leaving notes, or “thank you’s” in customer bags can make them feel like they’re still getting a personal touch. Testing online contests and campaigns, or finding creative ways to get people involved with your store, are great ways to engage customers in an online space.


3. A Trustworthy Online Experience

The online experience needs to create trust between you and your customers. As mentioned previously, you should make it as easy as possible for users to find products, read clear and accurate product descriptions, and be aware of which items are out of stock or unavailable. This process is made easier with a trustworthy grocery point of sale system like IT Retail’s. Through our inventory management system, your online customers can get a clear overview of what’s in stock.

A strong technical foundation is important when creating your e-commerce website. It’s important to invest in the right resources to build a website that is stable and won’t run into any issues. Downtime or technical problems will create friction between you and your customers, and leave them feeling like they don’t trust your e-commerce experience. 

It’s also incredibly important to ensure you provide a secure transaction experience. Your customers are providing sensitive information and payment details, and taking the right precautions to protect their data is pivotal to any e-commerce experience.


4. Data Analysis  

Tracking and measuring key customer data is vital in maintaining your e-commerce experience. Information like average transaction value and commonly purchased products can give you insight into customer behaviors and trends, providing you with up-sell or cross-promotional opportunities.

An effective grocery POS system can help provide you with insightful data that you can put to good use. Analytics can present you with important considerations like what products your customers are purchasing most online, which can then help you create tailored marketing campaigns. You can also start to get an idea of what products are easier or more difficult to deliver.

Finding a point of sale solution that can help provide you with clear and insightful data is a key component to e-commerce success. It enables you to continuously evolve and improve your e-commerce offering. 

Grocery POS systems like IT Retail serve as a full end-to-end solution. You can automate grocery processes, save time and money, and focus your efforts on growing this side of your business. IT Retail can provide you with incredible features like inventory management, product reports, sales data, and customer insights.

Book a demo and learn how IT Retail can supercharge your business.


Setting Yourself Up for Grocery E-Commerce Success

Implementing processes that focus on the shopper journey from end to end is the best way to get started and thrive in the grocery e-commerce world. Creating a clear e-commerce strategy can help to ensure a positive and easy customer experience. 

The strategy doesn’t deviate far from core components of an in-store shopping experience, but the tactics you would utilize to attract, retain, and delight customers looks fairly different. 

At the end of the day, people turn to e-commerce out of convenience. However, grocery e-commerce can do you more harm than good if you don’t take the right steps or have a modern POS system.

A full-scale POS system like IT Retail can help you make e-commerce a reality, and can make it easier for you to harness new sources of revenue. If you’re ready to learn more about how we can help, schedule a demo today to explore our POS platform’s e-commerce capabilities and more.

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