How to Start an Online Grocery Store Swiftly in this Pandemic: Features & Business Model Analysis

April 20, 2020

A couple of months ago, who would have thought that grocery will be one of the strongest retail sectors in 2020?

Yet, in just 7 days, in March, online grocery sales including household staples were up 79 percent from the previous year in the United States. Across the world, including countries like the UK and the Asia-Pacific, the year-over-year sales in this sector have substantially increased.

Modern-day websites/apps selling groceries and essentials are the next big niche for retailers, manufacturers or budding entrepreneurs to explore. You can also run an online grocery store parallel to your traditional business and tap into the ecommerce market to start making a profit.

A Grocery Store Business Model- Here’s What You Should Know

An on-demand grocery business model principally works by picking up products from the vendor and delivering it at your customers’ door-steps.

  • As an online grocery delivery service provider, you could probably tie-up with different offline vendors who do not provide home-delivery options. This needs you to create an ecommerce website, display your vendors’ products, procure them once you receive the order and deliver it to your customers. Your buyers don’t need to know which vendor you have obtained the groceries from unless it is a marketplace and vendors are listed online.
  • In case, you already have an offline grocery store, you can simply start providing an option to order online too. As a website owner, you need to manage all aspects – from inventory to shipping. Click here to start your online grocery shopping store for free

Get Inspired by Industry Players


One of the most prominent market players – Postmates serves in over more than 15 states in the US. The brand enjoys good traffic and caters to a huge number of customers at any point in time.


Who can miss out on this marketplace giant? The brand that initially started with books, is now on the top of the ecommerce chain to supply grocery amidst the coronavirus pandemic.


Currently providing its service in a few selected areas of the New York City Area San Francisco and Chicago, UberRUSH is an on-demand grocery delivery service by Uber. The brand works on a B2B model and has inspired several distributors and retailers to kickstart their own venture amidst this crisis.

Must-have features of an online grocery store

Since grocery is something for which customers might visit your store often enough (may once in a week), it is important to focus on customer retention rates.

Therefore, some features exclusive to this category are must-to-be.

Overall look and feel: It’s important to have a clear interface for your online grocery store. Chaotic designs, cluttered product pages with too much text can confuse your customers prompting cart abandonments.

Navigation: It’s important to make your website’s navigation stand out from your competitors. Highlighting all major categories of grocery items, display of product names in the drop-down with subcategories, using signages like, ‘click next’, ‘order here’ etc. can all add to creating a great navigation experience.

Location settings: You do not want your customers to add a whole list of items on the cart only to go to the checkout page to learn that the products cannot be delivered in their location.

Most of the brands provide customers an option to ‘Select your city’. This feature can be added on your website’s homepage or as a pop-up to keep your customers informed if they can avail of products where they are located.

Sign in/ Register: Grocery purchases are all about repeat customers. So, try making the sign-in or register section as rewarding as possible.

How? Use distinct terms like ‘New User’, ‘Register’ or ‘Sign Up’ and try to make the registration process simple and quick. Adding a banner image that informs visitors about the perks of registration can also help convert visitors into shoppers.

Store-pickup: A lot of ecommerce sites enable users to shop online but leave it on the customers if they want to collect items from the store or get it delivered. Providing this option will help you serve customers with different mindsets and also reduce the burden of logistics and shipment chain.

Search Feature: A flawless search feature lets your users find relevant products from different categories easily.  For this, custom features such as instant results in the drop-down and option to search a product in a specific category can simplify the process.

Filter Options:  In an online grocery store, the majority of the time, customers are looking for relevant products – something they use frequently. Make sure you provide users with filter options depending on a brand name, weight, price, etc.

Checkout Feature: It is at the checkout page that the majority of cart abandonments happen. To ensure your grocery store can complete the sales cycle, allow users to update carts by adding or deleting the products of their choice. It is also a good idea to show clear signs for ‘Proceed to pay’ along with providing options to pay in cash, card or eWallets.

Payment options: The whole point of ecommerce purchases is about offering convenience to your customers. This also includes the way they would like to make their payments. To be able to cater to all kinds of customer demands, it is essential for you to integrate your website with safe and reliable payment gateway companies to help your customers pay electronically. Alongside, make sure to support COD cycles to accept cash payments too.

Mobile App: More than 70% of all online shopping happens through smartphones. A mobile app not only helps you reach out to a wider audience base but also increases your ranking in Google’s search engine. Having a mobile app for your grocery store is a must to survive the cutthroat market competition.

Build Your Online Grocery eCommerce Store FREE with Store Pick up & Delivery Apps

Now that the features are being said, let’s come to one of the fastest ways to get started with your grocery online store!

Set up Your Online Grocery Store with Quick eSelling’s ready-to-use ecommerce platform

Amidst many prime stores, it’s difficult for your new venture to get as good as established market players. But it’s not as difficult as it sounds.

For those who plan on starting their on-demand online grocery store, Quick eSelling offers its ready-to-use, free ecommerce store to help you build the best one.

Amidst the pandemic, Quick eSelling, has powered more than 5000 retailers, manufacturers and distributors to quick-start an online ecommerce across 100 different countries, free of cost.

Some of the highlighted features provided by Quick eSelling include:

  • Fully managed and hosted website/app
  • High-quality premium themes with customization option
  • Store pick up and delivery apps
  • Single CRM to manage marketing, design, integrations and more
  • Excellent marketing tools with the power of SEO, push notifications, coupon codes, email marketing, etc.
  • Customizable front end to edit text, pictures, and update information
  • Integration with leading payment gateways
  • User-friendly mobile apps with live chat, social media integrations, native app, voice search and more

So are you ready to tap into this trillion-dollar industry by opening your online grocery store?

Try Quick eSelling Grocery eCommerce Platform for FREE to Start an Online grocery Store