When Covid-19 first started engulfing the world, some rushed to the superstores to stockpile while others hit the keyboard. This way, Google searches for local food and food delivery increased in April 2020. Thus, the pandemic changed the way businesses operate worldwide.
Some businesses like grocery stores faced a significant drop in sales. However, others found ways to retain profits in such an uncertain situation. Consequently, online shopping apps came to the rescue as an excellent solution for several people.
Online shopping, facilitating social distancing, has thus emerged as the most preferred option. Due to this, even the big companies like Unilever opted for digital to grow their sales.
Therefore, grocery stores have also favored e-commerce, resulting in a boom in online grocery apps like other services. However, these online grocery delivery apps must efficiently cater to the customers’ demands.
Companies face massive backlash in their online businesses. As a result, app developers must understand the purpose of the online grocery service, consumer demands, the obstacles they can overcome, and its benefits.
Therefore, this article discusses the factors that positively impact e-commerce growth and the benefits of on-demand grocery apps in light of Covid-19.
Factors Influencing E-commerce Growth
During the Covid-19 emergency, the digital economy exploded. People switched to online shopping more than ever as they’ve embraced social distancing.
Retailers rose to the occasion, not only by encouraging more online sales but also by embracing technological innovations. Consequently, it enabled them to connect with customers and improve their overall experience.
Here are some factors that show why customers are likely to prefer shopping online.
1. The Covid-19 Dread
Covid-19 fear will not disappear overnight, as it has already proved resilient, mutating and attacking anew, time and again. Therefore, people will continue to be cautious and still prefer shopping online for goods from the safety of their homes.
2. New Shopping Habits
People’s purchasing habits have shifted due to quarantine. Furthermore, these patterns have become ingrained because of the situation’s persistence. Although, customers are likely to venture out more as stores open. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean they will abandon the somewhat addictive and comforting feeling of online purchases.
3. Growth of Mobile Devices
Because of the rapid popularity of smartphones, it is now easier than ever to browse and buy stuff online. In addition, consumers can place orders conveniently using iOS or Android apps and get their desired product delivered to their doorstep.
4. Social Media Purchases
Multiple social media platforms have taken advantage of increased online retail in different ways. For example, Facebook (now Meta) introduced commerce features, allowing shoppers to browse and make purchases without leaving the platform. In addition, these platforms are usually tightly integrated with e-commerce websites, which enables e-commerce operators to market their brand in multiple locations easily.
Social commerce accounted for 3.4% of e-commerce sales in 2020, which is expected to rise further. Also, social networks offer more opportunities to contribute to ultimate retail sales and are better for learning about new products. As a result, they allow retailers to grow their digital presence and eventually their sales.
5. Availability of Products Online
Even when some products become scarce in retail stores, you can directly buy them online. This privilege is quite useful for buying daily use items, such as toilet paper, groceries, and more. As a result, e-commerce has become quite popular, especially for emergency shopping.
6. Additional Shopping Options
During the pandemic, while some customers used e-commerce, others took advantage of new pickup or delivery options from their local, physical shops.
Due to grocery stores allowing online purchases, several third-party distribution providers partnered with other brands to speed up delivery services. Food delivery companies such as Uber Eats began to include grocery delivery services.
Moreover, roadside pickup, both from brick-and-mortar stores and restaurants, gained significant business. There is now a contact-free way for consumers to pick up their products on their own to save time and delivery costs.
7. Contact-less Payments
It is unrealistic to expect online purchases to replace every single in-person purchase. As a result, noteworthy advances in various contactless payment options were made during this global epidemic. According to an eMarketer report, the number of people using mobile payments in 2020 increased by 22.2% year after year.
Since its inception, convenience, a broad choice, and cost savings have driven online shopping. This will be expected to grow exponentially as the advantages of e-commerce become more competitive and popular.
On-Demand Grocery App Benefits
We’ve seen the factors influencing e-commerce growth. Here are some benefits of on-demand grocery apps.
1. Swift Service
The most important perk of the on-demand delivery app is its immediate availability. Several businesses have stepped up to fulfill the consumers’ demands during this pandemic. These efforts include:
- Delivering goods quickly
- Gaining users’ trust
- Increasing user acquisition
- Enhancing retention rates
Furthermore, on-demand apps offer additional features compliant with current pandemic regulations.
For example, food delivery apps ensure restaurants adhere to all WHO sanitation guidelines, provide contactless delivery, and more. Additionally, such applications allow people to get the ingredients and cook a decent meal without leaving their homes.
2. Better Understanding of Customer Behaviour
You can learn about customer requirements and changing behavior by collecting user data. It can assist in the development and convenience of your app’s services. As a result, it increases sales and improves business growth. You can also learn about customer preferences, such as which items they buy regularly and how they pay their bills.
Furthermore, it gives you an idea of the user’s preferences and needs. For example, several people prefer to do their grocery shopping online, which is easily accomplished with smartphones.
3. Secure Payment and Contactless Delivery
Another benefit of using on-demand grocery apps includes in-app payment options, enabling users to pay virtually for their purchases. Furthermore, with PayPal and Stripe integration, they ensure secure transactions.
Virtual transactions reduce the need for physical money exchanges. As a result, people don’t have to rush outside, withdrawing cash from ATMs. It encourages social distancing while allowing people to get everything they need during the lockdown.
4. Offer Discounts to Attract Customers
In the past few years, the competitive pressure among online grocery stores has increased. This is why various grocery apps are devising new ways to attract customers. One such popular way is to offer discounts on purchases.
Customers prefer those online grocery apps that provide special offers and discounts on products. Moreover, these apps offer cashback and coupons on specific purchases and fantastic deals. In addition, facilities such as online payments, cashback, or discounts for using online payment methods encourage customers to use a specific app frequently.
5. Augment Mobile Advertising Potential
Another benefit of grocery app development is increased mobile advertising, as now people often use mobile devices to search for local stores. Therefore, a professional app development company can assist you in gaining more customers through the apps.
Grocery app development companies, like AppSocio, have created fully interactive and handy apps that take user input to improve app usability. Moreover, the availability of push notifications ensures your app is updated, offering various services.
6. Boosted Revenue
With everything on lockdown, the need for on-demand service apps surged exponentially. Businesses benefit from increased demand because it increases their chances of earning more money. As a result, consumers spend their lives more comfortably while businesses continue operating and generating higher revenue despite the economic recession.
It is also a fantastic startup opportunity for entrepreneurs. An economic downturn provides significant benefits to startups over other established businesses. This trend has allowed them to survive the pandemic and thrive in the years ahead.
7. Customer Satisfaction
With on-demand Android or iOS apps, customers can buy commodities and pay for utilities without leaving their homes. It alleviates their dread of the pandemic while also limiting its spread.
Furthermore, the digital platform includes a large inventory that offers users a wide range of cooking supplies and pantry items. It increases customer satisfaction allowing users to live their lives normally despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Finally, businesses may see an increase in customer acquisition and customer retention in the future due to online mobile applications.
Omnichannel – The Post-Covid Commerce
The significant shift from retail to e-commerce is obvious now. However, will it continue?
Customers appreciate when they are offered shopping choices. And omnichannel marketing offers them diverse options across different digital shopping platforms such as mobile, web, email, and more.
While we can talk about in-person and online shopping as separate and even competitive approaches, they are increasingly merging. This means even customers loyal to brands that only offer traditional shopping experiences are tempted to do more online browsing and purchasing.
As per the report, retail e-commerce sales are likely to double through 2023 globally. Thus, the foot traffic is beginning to return. In addition, smaller businesses can also provide convenient mobile app services like online shopping with in-store pickup.
If you own a physical store, keep in mind, combining it with an online presence can ensure a better experience of both in-store transactions and online shopping. Starting with an easy-to-use website, you can make it convenient for consumers to compare options, shop easily, and pay online.
In a nutshell, customers increasingly appreciate the convenience of online grocery apps. Furthermore, Covid-19’s constraints have made online shopping even more common and preferred than ever – the trend is not going anywhere, anytime soon. Therefore, now businesses must provide transparency, flexible policies, and useful omnichannel solutions to enhance their online presence.