Grocery delivery app — it’s Benefits and challenges

From books to groceries, online shopping and shopping on smart devices via apps have gained traction over the years. Combined with doorstep delivery, the convenience and flexibility it offers are unparalleled. While life has become busier, lifestyle changes and the recent pandemic have changed the perception from offline shopping to online shopping. For the millennials, it is a lifestyle choice. There are some interesting facts about online shopping.

· Only 48% of US shoppers were shopping for groceries in 2018.

· But now, 70% of US shoppers will be buying groceries online in 2022.

· 22% of shoppers buy groceries online at least once a week.

By 2023, online grocery sales are expected to increase by 149%.

Some of the benefits of grocery delivery apps are:

· Convenience: These apps offer the flexibility and convenience to purchase groceries at any time and from any place which can be delivered at any place the customer chooses. Purchases, billing & payments can be completed with a few clicks.

· Schedule orders: Orders can be scheduled to be delivered at a particular time and place. Purchases can be done based on the requirement for a later date and recurring orders can also be placed. These options are of great help and assist in ensuring that the customer does not run out of a particular item. These apps also give alerts for items that are currently available and items that have been replenished in the warehouse and can be ordered.

· Payment security: The payment gateways are very secure. Verification options are also provided and customers can make secure payments for grocery purchases. Pay-on-delivery options are also available which can make it easy for customers who prefer not to share their bank debit card details.

· Budgeted purchases: Prices, discounts & offers are displayed against all items in the online store. A complete breakup of taxes and coupon discounts are given when the purchase is to be completed which can help the customer add or remove items as per budget. Different brands offering different discounts can be compared and buying decisions taken as needed.

With convenience comes challenges and grocery delivery apps are no different. They also face challenges and issues like:

· Margins: One of the many reasons for customers to use such apps is the cost-effectiveness or discounts offered. Quality of products has to be maintained. Such discounts, delivery costs, quality control & returns result in a reduction in profit margins.

Solution: Selling other items like personal hygiene, packaged food & meals and cosmetics which have a higher margin along with the groceries can improve the bottom line. Combining offline delivery models for order pickups can help reduce delivery costs. Contracting with third-party delivery companies can help reduce salary and staffing costs.

· Interface and glitches: For any mobile application, the first point of contact for a customer is its interface. It has to look and feel good. Any shortcoming in the interface can lead to the customer abandoning the app. Glitches in the working of the app will also lead to customers leaving the application.

Solution: The user interface, the feel & ease of use are the most important part of an app. A well-experienced software company can develop a mobile app for grocery delivery keeping these aspects in mind and deliver an app with superior quality UI and ease of use and free of glitches using good programming techniques.

· Cyber threats: Digitization has led to digital threats. Cyber threats and data leaks are routine occurrences. If the application design has been compromised in terms of quality, customers would cyber threats to their saved payment options and their data can be leaked leading to further cyber problems.

Solution: Implementation of strict security protocols is a must to avoid and prevent cyber threats. Using two-factor authentication methods, and following standard protocols in the programming of the app is necessary. A software company with experience in developing secure apps can help develop a mobile app for grocery delivery.

· Delivery, warehousing, and expenses: The challenge is to manage the grocery app marketplace. There is an initial and regular expense of warehousing and storage spaces. Most of the warehousing facilities are located at a distance from the regular residence or office areas. Same-day or urgent deliveries can be hampered.

Solution: The solution can be to give time slots and deliveries can be executed as per the time sold selected by the customer. Notifications can advise customers to order early for same-day deliveries and urgent orders can be charged extra.

· Online purchase in small towns and consumer behavior: In small towns, the travel distance to a grocery store is less. People prefer to buy groceries by going to such stores and also socializing. The use of grocery delivery apps is very less in such places. Even in big cities, people like to visit grocery stores and get a feel of the groceries before buying.

Solution: Offers and discounts can be introduced to get customers to start using the app. Promotions for brand awareness and the app will help people know about such apps and consequently use them even for trial purposes. For big and small cities or towns, word-of-mouth marketing works best. A good experience in buying online makes customers return to using such applications again and also suggests the same app to friends and family for use.

In conclusion, a usable, user-friendly grocery app can work wonders for a grocery business in this digital age. With a growing young population, who are most comfortable using mobile applications, such apps have tremendous potential. Grocery delivery apps suit the needs of the present day, and the benefits outweigh the challenges for this business. Choosing to develop a mobile app for grocery delivery or use a ready-made one by a professional and competent software company can be rewarding for any organization looking to get into grocery deliveries by using the grocery delivery app.

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Chris Bateson

Explorer of Technology. Loves to Stay updated with News & Trends in the Business & Tech Space.