The e-commerce industry was 14.3% of total retail sales last year, 2018. E-commerce is basically transactions that are made online and part of this is online shopping. Online shopping mainly started with non-perishable goods, but nowadays, you can also get your fresh groceries online.
Mainstream grocers like Amazon, Walmart and Target are continuously developing their online grocery services and this simply makes more and more people want to order their grocery supplies online. While the big names in online shopping for groceries are improving, this is also the case for many startups and new businesses out there.
Many online grocery platforms are also stepping up. Mercato.com is one of these unique online sites that help you find the freshest and best high-end grocers and shops near you. You can even order from your favorite food places here like The Lobster Place.
Platforms like Mercato is something that’s different from the online retail shops that are the biggest names in the industry. They simply curate the products they have for their customers and this is what sets them apart.
Surely, it’s still not easy to compete with the biggest online retailers but many small-time or new online grocery businesses can get creative when it comes to ensuring their growth. In fact, Mercato has recently raised $4 million worth of seed funds. This is actually the biggest amount they’ve raised from the 5 rounds of seed fundraising that they had.
While this may mean that Mercato is simply stepping up their game, it just also means that not only consumers but also investors are seeing the potential of such businesses.
Analysts first saw grocery shopping online grow slowly as a sector of online shopping. It only made 5.5% of the spending made online. Shopping for other categories like apparels and furniture are already somewhere above 10 percent when it comes to making up the sales of goods online.
However, experts still see that things are about to change for online grocery shopping. The Global Data analysis has seen the continuous growth of this sector since 2010. They are even expecting that 10% of all grocery sales will be most likely made online.
By 2022, it is expected that the industry of online grocery shopping will be worth more than 130 billion dollars. Such an amount will only make the competition tight and many online grocery platforms will surely up their game to the best that they could.
Currently, Supermarket News see that the online grocery industry will continue to grow in the next five to ten years worldwide. Currently, online grocery shoppers are still buying more non-perishable goods, but this may still change.
Based on research conducted by Global Data about consumers, pantry items like chips, cereals, and canned goods are the most bought grocery items in 2017. Next to these are special ingredients that are not easily found in markets. In third place are beverages and what followed are personal care products, fresh produce, meats, fish, and deli, and food for special occasions.
The result of this research simply states that a lot of online consumers still probably prefer buying fresh goods offline. It’s possible that they simply prefer seeing what they would purchase first instead of seeing them after the purchase.
The freshness of the products that online consumers get is very important and this is why many online retailers focus on this too. Not only the biggest online retailers now operate in a few states or even nationwide. Mercato also operates in seven states with more than 3500 zip codes.
Another factor that many consumers appreciate when it comes to getting their groceries online is the options that they have. It’s online where they find plenty of choices and varieties. Mercato alone has almost 300,000 products listed on its site from the 591 shops they have.
It’s simply easy to find what consumers are looking for online. They can shop by category or by price range. What’s also good is that they can rely on the product reviews before they make a purchase. This is something that consumers don’t really get to do when they are shopping the aisles of a grocery store.
The bottom line is that shopping for groceries online is mainly about convenience and this is why people are keen to do this. Whether online consumers shop from the biggest online retailers or not, what will make them continue to do so is the overall customer experience. This is something that all these platforms are continuously working on.