Online grocery shopping has boomed since the outbreak of the health crisis. By mid-April it had grown by 302%, reaching one million homes (a rate of 5.5%). For this reason, Spanish supermarket chains and digital platforms are increasingly coming together to be better prepared to deal with the occasional avalanche of online orders, which still pose technical difficulties, as highlighted by representatives of both sectors at a virtual conference organized by the Association of Large Consumption Companies (Aecoc).
Growth has accelerated in a sector that "delivery platforms have transformed, making online convenience shopping possible," said Natalia Marcó, head of business development for retail knowledge at Aecoc, who acknowledged that large retailers had so far not shown a clear commitment to it due to its cost. However, it has now become "one of the highest strategic priorities" for food traders.
A booming business
Since Amazon started selling fresh produce in 2015, home delivery platforms have brought a model of “ultra-fast” deliveries that has increased competition. Large supermarket chains have created their own internet stores and specific distribution centers, as in the cases of Mercadona or Carrefour. Others have also partnered with technology and delivery companies to increase service speed and automate processes, such as Lidl and Lola Market, DIA and Glovo, or El Corte Inglés and Deliveroo, said Marco.
One of the problems they've had to face has been the avalanche of orders received in a very short time during the pandemic, without a chance of meeting all the demand, which has led to "frustration", said technological expert Luca Tateo. In his opinion, "now more than ever, the back office ends up being decisive in the shopping experience."
The improvement of the customer experience has also been addressed in the talk by executives of the Sánchez Romero chain, the Uvesco group and DIA.
Fast and personalized delivery
Glovo's Food Manager, Daniel Alonso, said that in order to meet the peaks in the demand, Glovo is consolidating its orders to deliver several in the same route. Moreover, they are striving to deliver within 15 minutes from the moment of purchase, when the average in Spain is 37 minutes.
For his part, the Vice President of Growth of Lola Market, Eduardo Liviano, said that a key aspect is to offer the user the chance to choose time slots for the delivery of the purchase, as well as to bring several stores together in the same web.