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Grocery E-Commerce 2.0 - Fixing The Supply Chain Conundrum

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 17 Oct, 2024

Retailers rushing to e-commerce is nothing new. Given the significant abbreviation in cost due to no brick-and-mortar management, there's been an explosive increase in online shops. Add to it, the digitally savvy consumer has been unlatching the optimal potential of the services. COVID-19 arrived and turned the world upside down. Our daily lives are not the same, and neither are the old shopping methods a priority today! Consequently, there has been a dramatic change in last-mile delivery services.

For example, in the pandemic hit 2020, online grocery sales grew by 233%. That's enormous and bound to grow further. However, for grocery delivery, traditional e-commerce (aka e-commerce 1.0) products are just not enough, and Web App Development Services have to be built for breakthrough innovation.

E-commerce 1.0 took off when a web store was created to deal with complex processes like uploading products, interacting & managing customers, and creating custom pricing agreements for them. First-generation e-commerce was the foundation of what we see as the e-commerce world today.

This is when customers saw horizontal e-commerce players like Amazon and Flipkart entering the online grocery shopping sector.

Different User Expectations For First Gen E-Commerce Players

Perishable items like fruits and vegetables form a big part of the grocery sector. This is why it is fair to consider this a nuanced category ruled by the expectations and the anxieties of the consumer. Although Amazon and Flipkart have the trust of online shoppers when it comes to product quality and excellent logistics, freshness, harvesting time, and cold storage are major concerns for users shopping for perishable items online. This problem, coupled with the COVID pandemic, has created a huge avenue for capitalization and growth in the e-grocery sector.

Challenges Faced by E-Commerce 1.0 Players

E-commerce 1.0 players focus on stocking and selling items instead of sourcing fresh products. These online stores have otherwise also proven to be more suitable for purchases in the electronics, fashion, and apparel industries because these players provide a favorable user journey and meet their customer expectations successfully.

Gap Creates E-Grocery Capitalization Opportunity

Because of the inability of E-commerce 1.0 giants to provide the same services to the grocery sector, there is a huge vacuum created in the market. The introduction of e-commerce 2.0 for grocery retailers aims to bridge this gap eventually.

Understanding the Issues of Ist Generation Grocery Shopping

Let's look at e-commerce 1.0, or the first-generation approach to online grocery shopping. These platforms have created siloed digital customer experiences that are only made stronger with several distinctive digital efforts employed by retailers these days. These siloed digital customer experiences are exactly the opposite of what shoppers expect. Data gets siloed when it can't be integrated across different systems, tools, software, and environments. To make things worse, retailers use third-party services that don't help shoppers relate between the brick-and-mortar store and digital presence.

The retailers using such third-party services swear that they use them to work through their operations quickly. What they overlook is that, in reality, they are walking away from a fantastic customer base that has been built in their physical stores over the years.

Needless to say, like everything, e-commerce is bound to transform into a better version of itself. Known as e-commerce 2.0, the 'new' stores are delivering vertical integration of multiple processes that happen behind the scenes. This means instead of managing multiple vendors separately. Brands are now partnering with a single unified provider of the back-end infrastructure. That is exactly why Software Solution Services In Toronto have a great opportunity.

Enters e-commerce 2.0

E-commerce 2.0 is also helping with the identification of specific health conditions for recommending products powered by leading nutritive science. Now, products come with expanded information about nutrition and sustainability. Shoppers can now choose to get home delivery, gift delivery, or click-and-collect from the desired store of their choosing and time. You can also provide your users with Providing relevant recommendations that can eventually help with product discovery.

All these new features focus on making the entire user experience contextually relevant to the needs of shoppers on a personal level. And how does e-commerce do this? Simply by separating customer user experience from order-fulfillment operations. With e-commerce 2.0, a retailer can own the full spectrum of digital customer experience. This allows them to maintain long-term customer relationships along with providing additional new services tailored to the needs of the business. This may include creating a list of products by category for a shopper or giving them recipes and real-time product suggestions as they browse through the store.

Regardless of the market size, there's a significant rise in the number of service providers. In India, the market for grocery e-commerce could touch USD 38.9 BILLION by 2028. Take Wheelocity, for example. The first supply chain space of its kind in India offers a fresh supply chain of plug-and-play across all major cities in India. It manages more than 900 MT of F&V products daily and works with major clients like Grofers, Dunzo, Instamart, Ola, and Zepto. Wheelocity is also India's 3rd largest third-party dark store operator, handling more than INR 1000 Cr of GMV in its network. They have successfully processed over 50,000 tonnes of F&V and packaged over 5 million F&V packets in under ten months. Their backward integrated farm procurement approach allows for high-quality fresh produce for several Q-com brands.

So, the real question for a retailer is, why should you partner with next-gen 2.0 Digital Marketing Services while the first-gen is still coming up with solutions?

  • First, food retailers around the world are now competing with sophisticated platforms like Amazon. Thus, to withstand the competition and stay relevant in the market, retailers need to focus on a comprehensive, seamless, and relevant UI as it's no longer a fancy thing but a basic for any business.
  • Second, online grocery shopping is a relatively new concept, and most people still prefer to shop in stores. This is why retailers must focus on digitally engaging all their potential customers both in-store and online. E-commerce 2.0 allows them to do just that.
  • Thirdly, any kind of digital engagement that results from personalized customer experience gives you roughly a 5% or more lift in customer spending. It also increases the customer's spending capability and retention with time.

The arrival of e-commerce 2.0 drastically changed the user experience. After its inception, shoppers get access to several added features. These include the ability to flag different products. You can use powerful filters and search tools that allow users to search through the entire store's product catalog with ease. Users can sign up for alerts giving notifications about active sales and discount coupons.

Going Forward

No matter whether the world is healing from the horrors of COVID, the transformation it leaves behind is here to stay. In the post-pandemic era, consumer's inclination for online grocery shopping will grow.

It is the best time to regale millions of users and scale a reputation that will last for years to arrive. However, the urgency to launch early is compelling many start-ups to explore ready-to-deploy services.

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