The Impact of Omicron Covid-19 on the Grocery IndustryDecember 22, 2021
The grocery industry is one such which will keep on growing no matter the situation in the economy and the market. The global grocery retail market was worth $ 9700 billion in 2020 with a CAGR of 7%. This is one such industry that never goes out of business.
With new emerging technologies and digital transformation taking the retail industry by storm, more and more grocery businesses are turning towards automation and ecommerce. Some of the big names in the online grocery delivery industry are Big Basket, Grofers, and Amazon. With the onset of pandemic and the need for online services now more than ever, grocery businesses, be it small local grocery and thrift shops or big retail chains of department stores like D-Mart, Big Bazaar, Bazaar, etc., every business is building a presence online.
There is still the need for offline grocery stores, yes, but it has become equally essential to have a grocery ecommerce website, or an application. This not only benefits the retailers but also the customers.
Accessibility: An online and offline presence means you are providing more availability and accessibility to your customers.
Personalized shopping experience: All your customers get to experience a personalized shopping experience by using your grocery ecommerce platform as they will get offers based on their preferences and purchase history.
Growing business: A digital presence increases your customers, revenue, and eventually profits.
Retention of customers: Having an online presence will grow and expand your brand name which will help in retaining loyal customers.
Rise of the Omicron variant:
Now that we have faced the first, second, and third waves of Covid-19, and gone through lockdowns, we are witnessing another new variant called Omicron. The one constant requirement during this is always social distancing, staying inside homes, and only stepping out for essentials.
A preferred mode of safety would be to strictly follow the lockdown rules and stay inside. Food, grocery, retail merchandise, everything is now available at your doorstep thanks to the rise of ecommerce platforms and emerging online businesses.
Ever since the pandemic started, the online grocery delivery industry has seen a new rise. More and more businesses started getting a digital transformation by building their own applications and software.
Over the last few weeks, a new variant Omicron of the coronavirus is spreading. Despite vaccinations being carried out in a fully-fledged way, the new variant is unaffected by that, and people who are vaccinated are also contracting the virus. More and more cases are rising and thus the possibility of another long-term lockdown.
With self-quarantine measures in progress and mask mandates being carried out, the need for online grocery delivery services is increasing.
What are the challenges faced by the grocery industry?
With the rise of covid and lockdowns being put in place, the grocery industry is facing many challenges, some of them majorly being:
- Increasing competition in the online grocery retail space
- Safety concerns regarding the contactless concept
- Hygiene and health concerns
Every business is turning digital. There is a rise in the competition for online grocery businesses. On one side there are giants like Amazon, Big Basket, Grofers, Tesco, Walmart, Instacart, etc and on the other side, there are local businesses developing their own websites, software, and applications.
There are also safety concerns regarding contactless deliveries. The new and upcoming delivery businesses are all for contactless delivery but there is still a long way to go to achieve complete contactless delivery in all services.
Another major and most important challenge is to build trust among the customers regarding the hygiene, cleanliness, and health of everyone. Even with contactless deliveries being introduced, there is always a chance of hygiene and health guidelines not being followed.
How to overcome these challenges?
The only way to overcome these challenges is to adapt to the market and the needs of the customers. Being a grocery delivery business, there is a vast target audience and a lot of untapped markets that can be captured.
Your business is bound to expand and lead in the market when you have a grocery delivery app or a website that is backed by contactless delivery options and hygiene rules being followed.
Opportunities to be tapped
It would surprise you to know that as of 2021, there is an estimate of 2.14 billion people worldwide who will buy goods and groceries online. Even in a pandemic, this percentage increased only a little. This means that there is a huge window of opportunity to be tapped here.
Working people and millennials who have a fast life prefer online delivery solutions whereas rural areas, developing areas and boomers still prefer offline shopping.
This huge chunk of the market is also going to be forced to stay indoors for safety. This is where online delivery services and applications can expand their business and increase their customer base.
Each store should have its own grocery ecommerce store – be it an application, website, or software that will make it more convenient for its loyal customers. Even today, the local grocery stores follow the delivery model where the customer calls them with their order and a person from the store goes to their house to deliver.
The same method of delivery needs to be applied in a more technological way. With the rising need for home deliveries, having an online presence or an online store is mutually beneficial to both the business and the customers.
Major advantages of having an ecommerce delivery system:
The current pandemic scenario offers a lot of opportunities to grocery retailers and grocery delivery businesses. Major advantages of having an online grocery shopping platform are:
- Expansion of business presence from one locality to more geographical areas.
- Retention of customers as they get more convenience and get to save time.
- Faster buying process, reduced checkout time, and flexibility for customers.
- Cost reduction if the business goes completely online.
- No limitations of the reach of the business bringing in new customers.
- Optimized and automated business operations.
- Full access to customer data and information.
Having an online grocery ecommerce store brings in an increased customer base, expanded business, and optimized business.