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Top 3 tips for grocers new to providing deliveries

Demand for grocery deliveries has skyrocketed since the onset of COVID-19. Grocers looking to jump into new delivery models must keep these three things in mind.

Via Transportation •
Welcome to our Grocery Delivery Lessons series, where we give you key insights into how best to build a grocery delivery service that works for customers, drivers, and grocers. Let's get started: The delivery of food, medicine, and other essential goods to those unable or unwilling to travel due to COVID-19 has dominated the logistics conversation recently. At Via, we’ve made our on-demand tech available to provide such services in the U.S. and abroad. But what also merits attention is a more general shift in consumer preferences, over the past several years, in favor of delivery.

And though social distancing efforts and other pandemic-related precautions expedited the transition away from pick up, it’s clear that the demand for delivery — of everything from shoes to cars — isn’t letting up any time soon. Perhaps most notable is the recent growth in sales for online grocery services, which reached a peak of $7.2B back in June, dwarfing sales of $1.2B in August of 2019.

As Edge by Ascential senior analyst Jack O’Leary notes in Business Insider, this skyrocketing growth hasn’t come out of nowhere. "[The pandemic is] going to accelerate a trend that was already ongoing. We have seen online and digital impact every category at a different point in time and grocery had not reached its maturity."  In fact, a new study out from e-commerce platform Mercatus and consumer insights firm Incisiv surveying nearly 60,000 Americans found that online grocery will make up 21.5% of all grocery sales in the country by 2025, eclipsing pre-pandemic estimates of e-commerce market penetration in the sector by a staggering 60%.

So, COVID-19 sped up the expansion of an already-growing online grocery market. But what does that mean for grocers? It means everyone from Walmart to your local mom-and-pop convenience store is and should be stepping up their game. All grocery stores need to bring their delivery infrastructure to the next level in order to both thrive in the present and set themselves up for success in our post-COVID future.

We’ve rounded up the three top tips on perfecting your grocery business’s delivery service, with a focus on that critical last mile: Where the product meets the consumer. Take a look, and let us know if we can help launch a cost-effective and scalable last-mile delivery solution. 

Lesson #1: Inform your customer

Lesson #2: Delight your Drivers

Lesson #3: Perfect your pooling

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