“Save Money. Live Better”: Grocery Retail Chains Coming Online

Nowadays, there is no need to visit a supermarket for one’s daily groceries. Food and drinks, the largest segment of consumer retail, is now available online. Both niche traders and universal retail networks expand their electronic sales.

Bilderlings Pay has studied the trends of this retail sector on the Internet.

“Save money. Live better”. This is the slogan of the drinks and snacks section of Wal-Mart Stores, the world’s largest retail network. And even though the Black Friday at walmart.com, the consumer legend of today, is not that relevant for Europeans, such bargain sale days keep many American homemakers at their computers all day long. Booming online sales of food are in no way a brand new phenomenon.

Online sale promotion efforts by various sites and aggregators took place in Europe as long as over ten years ago. These, however, mostly concerned ready-to-eat foods, that is, products with greater added value, such as pizzas and sushi rolls.

An online croissant: fresh pastry OK for payment

The range of retail food available online today also offers common consumer goods to potential shoppers – from candy bars to mineral water.

Carrefour, a French retail network operating 886 minimarkets, supermarkets and hypermarkets in Poland, has recently announced the launch of a marketplace service at eCarrefour.pl. Purchases made through the new Polish service can be collected from 86 hypermarkets all over Poland almost immediately upon the transfer of payment from one’s card account.

Tesco, a British translational corporation, has gained about 15% of its revenues in 2016 through online retail.

The Lithuanian company VP, a network of Maxima and T-Mаrket stores in Bulgaria and the Baltic States, offers thousands of different products, including perishable meat and milk products, through its online stores.

The new online retail start-up in Latvia was able to increase its product range to 10 thousand assortment positions over a short period of time, including both non-grocery goods and fresh food, bread and pastry, fruits and vegetables, pet products, etc.

Proprietary retail websites are now developed by just about every manufacturer or retailer of eco- / bio-products. Companies that used to restrict themselves to non-groceries, such as Wildberries, now also enter the food and drinks market.

There are numerous examples of successful “grocery” start-ups in online commerce; it all happens right before our eyes.

The business logic is elementary: a retailer faces lower prime costs, lesser expenses; gains better profit margins less minimum investments into the development and maintenance of an online store and delivery costs.

In practice, the account is laid with retail and corporate customers, whereas the goods batching and logistics services can be organised in a so-called hybrid shop, essentially, a regular supermarket specially created for the project, or a so-called “dark store” (a warehouse store with mandatory pre-orders).

Online supermarket orders are met by supplying the most popular products from a warehouse, which is supplied, in turn, directly from the company’s distribution centres. Rare or unique products are supplied on order from the supermarket’s range.

Many large retailers and separate niche traders keep a watchful eye on innovations and are keen on implementing these into their business; as an example, one could mention the delivery of groceries with drones. In the Netherlands, there is even a drone café, where quadcopters serve as waiters, delivering snacks and drinks to tables.

One should mention here, of course, that drone delivery has its own complications due to underdeveloped regulatory framework pertaining to the operation of such flying cargo bots, and the risks of theft and vandalism.

Autonomous drones reach their destinations using GPS and encrypted communication channels, but the handover of goods is where the aforementioned risks are likely to occur.

Save money. Live better

Aside from lucrative rates, often lower than or at least equal to those in regular shops, the online model sometimes offers a more comfortable range of payment methods as well.

Having analysed this market segment, Bilderlings Pay made an inference that consumers still lack awareness of how they can purchase goods through online stores to their own benefit.

Usually, all online traders employ card payments as the primary method of online payment at their sites. Aside from card payments, the bank link method is also popular.

An essential drawback of this method is that banks charge a subscription fee for the provision of this service. Along with greater maintenance expenses, a bank link user has to make contracts with each bank separately, and have accounts in the respective banks.

5 reasons showing that this is lucrative:

+ Bilderlings Pay offers seamless integration of payment solutions through the direct post protocol, which ensures maximum safety and transaction passability. Customer goods registration systems receive notifications of successful payment in a matter of split seconds, which allows maximum order batching commencement speed.

+ API integration, among other things, allows processing partial refunds within a common system. Such refunds are one of the main risks in the business of each retailer, being within the limits of 5 to 10 %.

Let us imagine: a customer received defective goods, for instance, a broken bottle, or bruised fruits. In these situations, the retailer is bound by law to reimburse the customer who files the respective claims for the cost of the purchase.

The bank link model requires considerable time to perform this transaction, which hardly conduces customer loyalty and business conversion. The Bilderlings Pay Company was able to circumvent this challenge by offering a more efficient payment model.

For customer convenience, this payment service can also store card data within its system – this is 100% safe, reliable, and saves time resources. Thus, customer card account data is saved within the system through tokenization, and the next purchase is going to be “just a single click away”.

An opportunity to set up automatic recurrent payments for products. Most consumers adhere to a more or less regular shopping schedule. Such practice allows rendering the online shopping process imperceptible: payments are deducted automatically from your card account, and all you have to do is collect the groceries from a courier and place these in your refrigerator.

A customer of the British retailer Tesco, for example, knowing that he consumes one pack of soymilk a week, can set up the respective recurrent purchase. In this case, his favourite soymilk is going to be delivered right to his doorstep by 7:00 PM every Tuesday, for instance.

+ Retailers can also benefit from individual design of the payment page, customised to meet the general website layout, the choice of different languages for the payment page and a broad range of other services, which results in greatly increased payment conversion for retail networks.

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