Are the Deals from Big Brand Grocery Stores Really Translating to Cheaper Prices? 

Humans are hardwired to engage with discounts. The moment one sees “X% Off” or “Season Sale” or other such eye-catching messages, we are drawn towards them. These deals are even more effective in online grocery shopping since more people are likely to see this through emailers, notifications, and other such media.

  1. How Discounts Work

Discounts in an online grocery store operate on the pleasure principle and the regulatory focus theory. These go hand-in-hand in determining customer behaviors. The former operates on the assumption that human beings seek out pleasure to reduce pain. Meanwhile, the latter examines goal-oriented behavior by specifying the motivation.

The motivation here is the discount. 

Discounts also work based on different ideas. Depending on the nature of the discount, there is a higher likelihood of purchase. E.g., The Economist showed that people are more likely to purchase a product when they get 50% more for the same price than if the price is reduced by 33%. 

Similarly, Allain Samson noted that we respond differently to what he calls “Differentiating Discounts” in online grocery shopping. This article examines the specific wording of “Get $ off” versus “Save $.” Samson argues that the former has a higher chance of success since it operates on “achieving a gain” rather than “avoiding a loss.” Karl Gilis echoes the importance of including a dollar or currency symbol to remind the customer to save actual money. 

Therefore, when a large online grocery store uses everyday discounts, they harness consumer psychology this way. However, we have only understood why discounts draw in customers. Now let us examine the other side: what do all these deals mean?

Do Big Store Discounts Differ From Small Store Discounts?

Some of the largest retail chains in the grocery store segment in the US were founded on principles of buying in bulk. Bulk buying was propagated on the idea that the customer would save more, even though the customer would often spend more than intended in the process of saving. This was based on the presumption that while they could discount or offer deals on big-ticket items like kitchen appliances, customers would buy related items or browse and, therefore, spend more in the process.

As Merle van den Akker for Medium writes, “We are currently not in an economy that allows for impulse inhibition.” This lack of inhibition translates into buying habits that lead consumers to buy more than they initially anticipated. Bargain-hunting can become an obsessive, all-consuming, addiction-like behavior supplemented by deals and discounts that online grocery shopping presents.

So what gives smaller stores advantages in today’s economy that they did not have earlier? 

Leveraging the Local Niche

When the Patel Brothers began in the 1970s, they intended to cater to the USA’s NRI population, who craved “home food.” This way, they established their niche early on, catering to a lot of Gujaratis. However, soon, as they grew into the multi-million dollar business they are today, their products had to become more generalized, catering to the wide variety of Indian cuisines. Smaller stores like Janani and Shivam get an advantage here.

Smaller stores need to have a closer relationship with their clientele so that when they become online grocery stores, they have loyal customers. Therefore, they cater to the neighborhood population better. Consequently, they can provide more specialized products at discounts that may not be available in bigger stores.

Cleaner E-Commerce Interface

Smaller stores with fewer products tend to give their customers a cleaner online grocery shopping experience. They may also opt to host their products on an existing platform that showcases their discounts and deals in eye-catching ways for them. This way, they can draw in new customers easily, too. Complete with high-quality images, well-written product descriptions, and guarantees about the online grocery store’s integrity and genuineness, the online interface is sure to be a success.

Greater Customer Focus Aided By Social Media

With a social media presence and a closer relationship with their clients, smaller grocery stores and their discounts do cater to their customers by listening to them and their demands. Here, too, deals are possible – having people send a picture with their groceries or dishes that they have cooked with groceries from your online grocery store are excellent opportunities for giveaways and special offers. 

With smaller grocery stores, such deals are more believable since every customer feels like they might get a chance at equal attention versus the bigger stores where discounts and deals need to be big and flashy to catch customers’ eyes.

At ebounti groceries, we help big and small brands alike create their own online grocery store with efficient delivery systems and attractive discounts on display. We also help in establishing a customer radius and get their orders to them safely through no-contact methods. This way, we ensure safety and hygiene at all times!


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