Based on the stats that show over 80% shoppers using their smartphones for shopping online, it would not be a surprise to notice that online grocery shopping is gradually becoming a new normal. While the overall eCommerce shopping trends are on the rise, the niche, online grocery shopping too is evolving with the changing customer behaviors.
Let’s just accept that a grocery-shopping platform is one of the best eCommerce business ideas of 2020. Especially with COVID-19 pandemic forcing even traditional grocery stores into lockdown, online grocery shopping is a lifesaver in this scenario. So how to build a grocery app? Where do you start? To uncover the most profitable and effective ways of doing so, this article lists some important tips for you. Apply the tips carefully in your development process and you might end up with a highly competitive and loved grocery-shopping app of 2020.
Tip#1: Focus on customer motivations
Customers are not just going to jump on the first chance to use your application. Unless, you have something of unique value, you are just like any other app in the market. So, what do you have that makes you stand out from the rest? Focusing on the following three major aspects of digital on-demand commerce will help you acquire the same:
- Customer personalization: Your application must respond to your target user’s unique requirements. The features of the app are not about you but your customers.
- Convenience: Remember, the entire purpose of launching an online grocery shopping business is giving the customers a better, faster, and convenient way to do what they have been doing in traditional grocery shopping.
- Cost competition: You must offer them ways to save money by shopping online for grocery. Lower prices alone can act as an independent motivation to the customers.
Tip#2: Chose the correct grocery shopping model
Depending on the business model, apps may follow different ways to deliver grocery to a customer. It’s crucial for a business to select a suitable business model as per hyperlocal infrastructure and business opportunities:
- Inventory-based grocery delivery model: In this model, the grocery-shopping platform is responsible for procuring its own inventory from different suppliers and sells them to its customers. It also takes care of the delivery of the orders, either via its own delivery network or by using a 3PL company. Walmart delivery is a good example of this model.
- Marketplace-based grocery delivery model: You need not procure the supplies by yourself. Instead, you can allow different shops and sellers on the platform to sell from their own stock. You can make money from the commissions paid by these sellers to you for connecting them to your customers’ base. Again, you can manage your own delivery fleet or hire a 3PL company for it. Some segments of Amazon’s grocery delivery fits in this criteria.
- Pure delivery model: it’s a unique and easier model to start a grocery delivery business. Instacart follows this model. Your app will collect all the grocery orders from the customers and forward them to your fleet of shoppers. Shoppers are responsible for purchasing the listed items from local shops and deliver them to the customers. This also means, your major source of income would be the delivery charge, as you would function purely as a delivery agent in this model.
All these business models require different tech solutions, investment budget, and local infrastructure support. Make a choice that fits your ecosystem and business goals in all regards. This will help you to decide if you need to build your platform from scratch, or you can build it using a mere Instacart clone script.
Tip#3: Use the most desired features in trend
Although a simple application to receive orders and then transfer it to delivery fleet is enough to start a grocery-shopping platform, you need to think beyond that to win the conversions. You have to find the most used and enjoyed features in trend and apply them to your app in innovative ways:
- The shopping list: Besides a catalog of all the products that users can add to cart, allow customers to search their products, too. Take care of miss-spelled and local variations of different product names through spell-check and search autosuggestions.
- Track spending and purchase history: Let customers track their spending on grocery shopping in different formats like purchase history and pie charts of different categories of products purchased. Let them apply filters based on month, week, and year. It will help users to track their long-term purchase history and visualize the patterns.
- Shopping reminders: Based on the purchase history, types of products, and quantity purchased, send regular reminders of the items that may need replenishing. For example, daily milk reminder, weekly vegetable supply reminder, and monthly rice and flour stock reminder etc.
- Coupons, discounts, and loyalty programs: Saving is one such big motivator to shop online instead of physical stores. If you can’t offer this benefit to the customers, they are more likely to keep purchasing from traditional stores. To attract customers, offer them various deal on surplus supplies, loyalty benefits like free delivery etc. You will need a powerful discount and coupons management system to offer an excellent experience.
- Membership and subscriptions: These are modern-day revenue channels. Almost every segment of the global market uses memberships and subscriptions to streamline steady flow of revenue. Luckily, a grocery delivery app can accommodate two major types of subscriptions:
- User subscription: Something like Amazon prime with added benefits for members
- Subscription box: Instead of purchasing essential supplies periodically, let customers subscribe to certain products. For example, monthly subscription of daily milk supplies, hair-care products, skin-care products, vegetables, etc. You can give them added discounts on these subscriptions.
- Local payment methods: Beside traditional payment methods like credit card, debit card, COD, and Net banking, it’s always wise to add some local payment methods in your list. Users are more familiar with these methods and don’t think twice before them. For example, UPI payment methods, Digital wallets etc.
- Real-time delivery tracking: Let the customers track the real-time status of their order. Besides, also let them see the real-time location of an approaching delivery with the contact in formation of the delivery agent. This also implies that you app must have integrated geo-navigation APIs for both customers and the delivery partners, such as Google map and Apple Map.
Tip#4: Use a turnkey script instead of development from scratch
It takes at least 6 months for a team of 5-10 resources to build a simple grocery delivery platform with different apps for users, delivery agents, and the admin panel. Taking the resource charge as low as $50/hour/resource, you can calculate the overall development cost of such a project. Besides, the cost of different testing phases, hosting, APIs, and CDN services are also to be added in this. Overall, it’s an expensive project to develop from scratch.
Instead, you can use any decent turnkey script that resonates with your idea to get the same thing in just a few thousand bucks. For example, if you want to start a grocery-shopping platform like Instacart, an Instacart clone script will do the job.
In short, it’s not wise to spend all your investment on re-inventing the wheel, when you can get a wheel from the market and build a cart using it. You can always get a turnkey script from the market, and if needed, customize on top of it for a much cheaper cost. Unless you really need a unique set of features with unique business model, turnkey scripts are the best way to save some redundant expenditures from your venture.
Jessica Bruce is a professional blogger, guest writer, Influencer & an eCommerce expert. Currently associated with ShopyGen as a content marketing strategist. She also report on the latest happenings and trends associated with the eCommerce industry.
Follow me on Twitter @Jessicabruc (https://twitter.com/Jessicabruc)