For years, it’s always been grocery shopping in store vs. online. Very rarely has this shopper ever been one and the same.
Fast forward to today, when many grocery retail outlets offer in store, delivery, curbside pickup and more.
That’s why the grocery shopping landscape is anyone’s game.
Food Logistics: E-commerce continues to disrupt the grocery supply chain. What do you see as some of the Top 3 trends to watch in the online grocery vs. brick-and-mortar space?
David Bishop: We expect that as online grocery, or what we refer to as eGrocery evolves, demand will continue to shift toward pickup at the store that some consider curbside or drive-up services.
Food Logistics: How will inflation and the ever-increasing rise in cost of goods impact how and where consumers shop for groceries?
Bishop: Persistently high prices are reducing the purchasing power of households as earnings are not keeping pace. As a result, inflation is causing many households – especially lower-income ones – to avoid paying more than necessary. Shifting toward discounters, like Aldi or Walmart, is one outcome while reducing use of delivery, which includes higher fees to use, other charges, and even tips, in favor of in-store shopping or using a pickup service is another.
Food Logistics: Last-mile delivery plays an important role in the e-commerce side of grocery retail. What are some of the opportunities and even challenges with regards to the last-mile space in cold food chain?
Bishop: Although cost considerations continue to climb vs. the prior year, giving customers what they want, when they want it and how they want it are still vital. When it comes to how they want it, providers need to ensure that the cold chain is maintained on the temperature-sensitive items as no one wants to receive partially-thawed ice cream or green vegetables that are wilting or limp.
Food Logistics: How do you envision this grocery e-commerce vs. retail war playing out for the remainder of 2023?
Bishop: Brick Meets Click forecasted that eGrocery sales, which encompasses online orders received via pickup, delivery or ship-to-home services, will fall nearly 3% while in-store sales rise by just over 3% in 2023. These divergent trends reflect in part a return to more in-store shopping as concerns about respiratory infections wane and cost considerations climb, driven by inflation and the loss of pandemic-related payments that expire. Within eGrocery, we expect that delivery will face the stiffest headwinds in 2023 as those who like shopping online but are looking to stretch a buck will shift toward pickup.
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