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On-demand grocery delivery market heats up

grocery online delivery food concept ordering 1583503

The Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic has brought transformative changes to people’s lives since the virus began spreading, first in China, and then in the rest of the world. The highly contagious nature of the virus has forced people to live lives that are markedly different and somewhat unrecognizable. Individuals now wear masks regularly, sanitize their hands and also take steps to socially distance themselves from people around them. The pandemic has also forced people to quarantine. The restrictions caused some businesses to lose customers while others were forced to close entirely.

These changes have forced individuals to rethink how they do everyday tasks. Running our most essential errands usually involves visiting heavily trafficked locations, thereby increasing our risk of exposure. Places such as grocery stores and pharmacies are essential to our existence and wellbeing, yet are particularly problematic.

While business closures were mounting across the globe, the grocery store was of the few businesses that flourished during the pandemic. However, due to the virus’s ease of transmission, customers were being urged to sanitize, follow social distancing rules and avoid shopping during peak times. Of course, these rules tend to burden people who already dislike the task. Thus, in an effort to keep customers happy and to create as little contact between shoppers as possible, is offering NY grocery delivery to their customers.

Despite the necessity of grocery shopping and the speed with which brick and mortar stores have moved online, online grocery shopping has been a hard sell to a large number of shoppers. Whereas shopping for apparel, doing one’s taxes and even buying eyeglasses online are easy to accomplish on the internet, online grocery shopping has not taken off like it was expected to. The lack of success that seems to plague online grocery stores at first doesn’t make much sense. After all, everyone needs to eat and very few people enjoy having to go grocery shopping. Also, since commerce is increasingly moving off Main Street and into Cyberspace, grocery stores present themselves as the next logical step.

Unfortunately, the failures experienced by entrepreneurs can be linked to the numerous unseen hurdles that companies routinely encounter. Entrepreneurs must deal with low profit margins, second-rate delivery systems and consumer behavior that can be unpredictable.

However, with the spread of Covid-19, grocery delivery has been coming back in a big way and more online companies as well as conventional grocery stores are offering the service, notwithstanding the unlikeliness of successful implementation history has shown.

Having your groceries delivered reduces the chances of contact with infected individuals and reduces your chance of contracting Covid-19. The need for constant sanitization, social distancing or wearing a mask for prolonged periods are also eliminated. Online grocery delivery services also offer contactless delivery where any interaction between delivery driver and recipient is eliminated. However, the biggest benefit may well be the reduction in commitment required to complete this necessary task.

In the midst of this pandemic, delivery is more than just a perk. It is an essential service to all customers that allows them convenience, the ability to shelter in place and a way to avoid infected persons. Delivery also makes sense in a world that is increasingly moving online. Yet delivery services aren’t limited to the grocers themselves, third party delivery services are also stepping in to provide logistical support.

While the pandemic will be here for the foreseeable future, there is no telling what the future will hold for grocery delivery or if it will even outlast the pandemic. There is a good chance that when the book on Covid-19 is written, grocery delivery may be reduced to a blip on the radar. Challenges in this sphere are plentiful, however, they are not insurmountable. With patience, planning and lots of experimentation, online grocery delivery may become as commonplace as buying shoes online.

Guest Author – Hemant Kumar Gupta

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