As a Millennial, I have a front row seat to how technology is revolutionizing the world. From smartphones to tablets, and even smartwatches, technology is everywhere. One industry in particular technology innovations seem to be disrupting is food retail, with the majority of traditional retailers having mobile apps that host coupons, members only deals, and online buying.
Some grocery retailers go straight to the e-commerce market and bypass traditional in-store selling completely. According to The Nielsen Company, “Growth of online grocery shopping is driven in part by the maturation of the digital natives—Millennials and Generation Z.” This statement definitely hits home.
I grew up in the age of technology and expected all information to be instantaneously available at my fingertips. In the current retail landscape, I can now even go grocery shopping online! Using technology as a way to connect to customers is just a nice-to-have. Instead, it is a necessity.
Over the past few years, traditional retailers have created an online presence, as well as a mobile app. Some retailers had a physical store and now have created an app/online shopping, and others went straight to online selling. This allows consumers to access products anytime, anywhere.
I would say the majority of e-commerce grocery retailers are solely online, without a storefront. The first that comes to mind is Amazon Fresh. AmazonFresh was launched in 2007 as a subsidiary of Amazon.com. It allows customers to order food directly from the website and have it delivered, depending on location. Not only can people order canned and boxed goods, but also perishable fruits and vegetables. Fifteen years ago if someone said they could order groceries online I would have laughed, but now, technology makes it possible.
The second retailer I thought of was Thrive Market , an online grocery retailer. This company specifically caught my eye because it sells the same items as Whole Foods, for half the price. Anyone that has been to Whole Foods knows that they can get pricey, so finding a company that sold the same items for less definitely got me hooked.
Thrive Market has a yearly fee of $59.95, but every time you make a purchase you can see the amount of money you saved using Thrive Market compared to traditional stores. Thrive Market also does not have a physical storefront. The shift in technology innovations has changed the way people grocery shop, allowing consumers to buy goods in real time and have the luxury of everything being hand delivered.
These online retailers are one step ahead simply because they can tailor the customer journey, and market directly to consumers based on their ever-changing expectations. E-commerce brands can target the right consumers, individualize their journey, and provide a seamless shopping experience. Simply moving to a virtual environment is a disruption to traditional selling. Now that the world’s food retailers are shifting to e-commerce, I wonder what industry technology will disrupt next!