While cashless checkout has been talked about extensively, contactless delivery is not equally discussed. COVID-19 changed that when contact became genuinely dangerous. Questions about contactless delivery have, therefore, come into the foreground. These questions are especially poignant and pertinent to the current online grocery shopping environment. 

What is Contactless Delivery 

Contact-free delivery is when items are delivered with no direct contact between the delivery person and receiver. This is accomplished by the delivery person leaving the package outside the customer’s door and sending them a message or notifying them about its arrival. The customer can then choose to follow the steps of sanitization they deem fit. 

There are certain things to keep in mind when it comes to such delivery:

  • Offering mobile payment so that there is no transaction of physical cash. Instead, they can pay through credit card, debit card, or any other online mode.
  • Every package should be sterilized before being sent for delivery. Especially packages containing meat, fruits, vegetables, etc. and various jars need to be thoroughly cleaned. 
  • Switch to a social media campaign rather than using flyers or posters to advertise yourself. This shift will also help increase your reach exponentially.
  • Using curbside pickup instead, as Walmart does, is an option for those who would like the physical experience of going to the store. Walmart predicts that 33% of its sales will involve curbside pickup by the end of 2020. 

Contactless delivery goes hand-in-hand with contactless ordering and contactless payment. While we have touched on both aspects in the above section, let us understand them in greater depth. 

Contactless Ordering and Online Grocery Shopping

Online shopping has prevailed over the last few years, with Amazon being the most prominent example of successfully campaigning online. However, retail giants like Walmart are also excellent examples of the importance of contactless ordering.  

Walmart’s business model of integrating eCommerce with physical retail stores meant they grew by 74% in the first quarter of 2020. Their incorporation of contactless pickup furthers this. The customer can place their order and pay online and then go pick up their products from the store. This ensures that their shopping experience is contact-free at every stage. 

Contactless Payments and Online Grocery Shopping

(Source: PayStand)

Often integrated with contactless delivery, payment can happen beforehand or at the time of delivery. Checkout-free retail is a prime example of contactless payments. Rather than interacting with a cashier, the customer can input their order and scan-and-pay. According to reports by Ingenico Group and Freedom Pay contactless payments are quite popular among 75% and 70% of millennials and Gen Z, respectively. 

Alternatively, initiatives like Amazon Go enable cashless, contactless payments by incorporating AICV (AI Computer Vision). Here, the customer’s phone activates sensors and cameras through the Amazon Go app and tracks the customer’s movements and purchases. Amazon is the only US retailer to currently use such technology, implementing it in over 20 different locations. 

Conclusion

The options for contactless transactions in today’s world are endless. Instacart, Walmart, Shipt, and Peapod are simply the tip of the iceberg. Several companies are switching to contactless delivery in their online grocery stores. This is a trend whose guaranteed safety may keep it long after the pandemic. However, only time will be the judge of that.

ebounti grocery eCommerce platform assists stores that wish to build an online presence. Getting on board with us means selling groceries to your nearby, loyal customers. All these groceries are then delivered or picked up without any contact. This ensures both employees and customers’ safety, making everyone better off in this time of crisis.

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