As consumers embrace an on-the-go lifestyle, it is not a surprise that convenience is often mentioned as a top reason for visiting both restaurants and retail locations. Many restaurant and retail operators have elevated their prepared foods and grab-and-go offerings in an effort to meet their time-sensitive demands. Grocery stores have proven that they can adapt to foodservice trends by launching tech-enabled grocery-delivery systems. Whole Foods, Meijer, Publix, Walmart and Target are just a few of the supermarket banners exploring these additional services.
Although online delivery is not new to the foodservice space, it is becoming an important avenue for retailers to grow their sales and stay competitive. Additionally, many of these retailers are investing in e-commerce and mobile capabilities to keep pace with subscription services like Amazon Fresh and Instacart. Delivery/pick-up programs have taken many shapes and forms across different retailers from kiosks and lockers to drive-thru and subscription services. Below are some recent examples that show how retail outlets are adapting to market demands:
- Publix customers can now order groceries from the Shipt mobile app. The service will deliver any item from Publix in as little as one hour. An annual Shipt membership costs $99, which includes unlimited deliveries for orders totaling $35 or more.
- Walmart began testing its invitation-only Shipping Pass service in June to compete with Amazon. At $50 a year, the subscription offers free and unlimited three-day delivery. It is also testing a, Walmart Pickup-Grocery kiosk in Bentonville, AK. Walmart continues to experiment with home delivery in San Jose and order pickup at regular stores in Denver, Phoenix and Huntsville.
- Meijer recently launched Meijer Curbside, allowing customers to shop online for grocery items and select a time to pick-up orders at a designated drive-thru area where a Meijer Curbside team member loads their car and takes payment using a mobile device.
- Whole Foods has partnered with Cravy to test a food-delivery program in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach, FL. Customers create an online account at CravyMarket.com where they build and edit shopping lists and place orders for delivery. Initial orders are free, and $9.99 for each successive order. The partnership is the first of its kind in South Florida for Whole Foods Market.
Retailers are savvy to embrace these new technologies and delivery formats. Technomic anticipates that online delivery and take-out programs will only continue to expand and evolve as consumer demand for convenience grows.