COVID 19: Transforming the Grocery Business in the USA

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The ongoing COVID 19 pandemic hit all countries across the globe in March. This pandemic has impacted uncountable lives worldwide. The Coronavirus pandemic has hit hard the economies of various countries.

In the last few months, no retail category has witnessed so much pressure in the USA than the grocery business. The outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic is driving Americans to buy groceries online, something which was a rarity before the pandemic.

Ordering food online, the use of e-commerce portals to buy groceries, books, and electronic items have become part and parcel in Americans’ lifestyle. Earlier, when it came to buying groceries and veggies, they would prefer buying them by going to the supermarket. However, the pandemic has changed everything.

Here are some statistics to show the positive impact of the pandemic on grocery shopping businesses.

  • According to a survey conducted by Gordon Haskett Research Advisors, around 41 percent of Americans were buying groceries online for the first time during the pandemic.
  • A poll conducted by CivicScience of US adults and their online grocery shopping habits shows that the percentage of individuals shopping groceries online has witnessed a surge from 11 percent on March 1 to 37 percent on March 22.
  • A research conducted by Bain & Co. shows that only 3 to 4 percent of grocery shopping was done online in the USA before the pandemic. However, this percentage has gone up to 10 to 15 percent after the epidemic.

Online grocery shopping: A paradigm shift in the mindset of Americans

The lethal and contagious nature of the Coronavirus is there for everyone to see. Because of this, grocery shopping in the USA has witnessed a substantial digital shift from the brick and mortar stores and supermarkets to US grocery stores online. This change in consumer behavior and mindset is mainly to limit exposure to the virus. When retailers were struggling in the US, the grocery shopping business has witnessed a tremendous sales increase since the beginning of the pandemic.

Grocery stores are finding it challenging to keep up with the increasing demand:

As the Coronavirus is pushing more grocery buyers to buy from the US grocery stores online, the grocery stores find it quite challenging to meet the ever-increasing demand from buyers. The main reason behind this shift is the panic buying that has set in after the pandemic. People are stocking up groceries more than they should, which has affected the supply chain. This has led to a sudden shortage in various commodities in US grocery stores online.

Many online grocery stores have limited the number of items to prevent this panic buying that an individual can buy. This would help prevent people’s thoughtless buying and ensure that the commodities are available for everyone.

Challenges faced by grocery shopping businesses during the pandemic

  • Poor supply chain management
  • A rapid surge in the number of online grocery shoppers
  • Sudden transition in customer behavior
  • Limited workforce
  • Delay in deliveries
  • Providing a safe shopping experience

US grocery stores online are doing their best to keep customers happy and safe:

Online grocery stores in the USA are doing their best to overcome the challenges and provide a safe and seamless purchasing experience.

1. Contactless deliveries

Several grocery shopping businesses have started contactless deliveries to avoid any physical interaction between the delivery-person and the shoppers. This is a great measure to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

2. Safe delivery of groceries

Many US grocery stores online have started delivering groceries in sanitized and sealed bags to avoid any contact of the products with anyone during transit.

3. Self-pickup

For customers who want to avoid any in-person contact, self-pickup from designated stores is also an available option.

4. Thermal checks and use of sanitizers

US grocery stores online perform a temperature check of the delivery person before picking up the groceries for delivery. They are strictly instructed to use sanitizers before and after delivery.

Even in the post COVID world, grocery shopping by digital means is new normal moving forward when normalcy is restored. For this purpose, US grocery stores online need to be adaptable and flexible regarding customers’ requirements.

This shift has also surged the need for more grocery stores. Therefore, many entrepreneurs in the USA have started investing in the grocery shopping business. If you want to launch an online grocery store in the USA or anywhere globally, we can help you. Contact us for more details.