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Grocery Ecommerce - The Next Big Thing?

Imagine the convenience of indulging in Grocery shopping right at your home - and not being bothered by the weather, clock, rush hour traffic, POS queues and coupon clutter.  With the advent of 4G, ubiquity of high resolution tablets, 3D technology - Ecommerce can now be enhanced completely so that it becomes a compelling experience for the Grocery shoppers - powerful and personalized yet simple.  A typical shopping basket consists of items which are recurring purchases and shoppers typically do not change brands very often. This predictable nature of Grocery shopping is similar to prescription refills and can be easily fulfilled via an ecommerce model versus Brick and mortar. Of course the retailers will be pushed to their limits -supply chain and distribution network will now need to be more agile, inventory management and forecasting more accurate, business intelligence and analytics more dependable and all this will require a more scalable, secure and high performance IT  infrastructure. But the retailers will in turn also benefit from additional product advertising revenues, predictability in orders, cross sell & up sell opportunities, better shrink management, and new product categories - like "Shoppers Recommendations", "Personalized items". In addition ecommerce will be a more powerful medium for new product launches, marketing promotional items, trigger impulse buying and building brand via Social Media and to top it the retailer will be now open 24X7 for business! Grocery Ecommerce will also open up significant collaboration opportunities between the retailers - as an example the retailers could share a transportation fleet or use a third party operator. The Brick and mortar could well be replaced by intelligent and "mobile", "break pack" distribution centers. Grocery Ecommerce will soon emerge as a significant channel of commerce for the retailers. From a cost perspective one could argue that Grocery Ecommerce will push more cost into the system but then many of us may be willing to pay a premium for this convenience.

 

Posted on behalf of Thomas Mathen

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