With COVID-19 sweeping the nation, the change in the buying habits of the average consumer is palpable. In June 2020, 45.6 million households turned to online grocery pickup and delivery services, and online sales hit a record $7.2 billion in June – a 9% increase from May – according to Brick Meets Click and Mercatus. The eCommerce grocery market is predicted to reach $38.16 billion by 2021. Meanwhile, a year ago, in August 2019, there were only 16.1 million online shoppers, totaling $1.2 billion. 

(Source: Tech Crunch)

This shift in consumer behavior is also reflected in the rise of new independent grocery stores selling their products online.

So, how does one start an online grocery store?

Creating an online store, although easy, requires some strategizing. 

For aspiring store owners, here is a stepwise guide.

Step 1: Target Audience and Location

Identify your target audience and location. Are you a local business? Will you ship across the country? Are you primarily targeting young people who are attempting to survive during the pandemic? Or are you catering to families? Pick your targets and design your marketing campaign accordingly. 

Step 2: Set Up Your Online Store/Website

There are two ways to set up your online grocery store. You can either get a website developer to build your web presence from scratch or choose an existing eCommerce platform to partner with, e.g. Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Squarespace…Most people prefer the latter since it is less expensive and a much faster process.

Step 3: Set Up an Inventory

Managing your inventory is one of the most challenging tasks. Especially as you grow, keeping track can be tedious. Therefore, the inventory management platform comes in handy. ebounti eC0mmerce platform offers a seamless online inventory and digital integration with POS

Step 4: Set Up a Delivery System

Creating an efficient and complete delivery network is highly necessary when it comes to online grocery. Primarily if you specialize in produce, having a direct connection to the farm ensures that you get fruits and vegetables when they are fresh. Having a good network means you can deliver them to your customers before they go stale. 

Step 5: Mobile Platform

With the number of online grocery app users predicted to increase to 30.4 million by 2022, having a mobile-friendly version of your website is of paramount importance. More people are browsing on their phones today; you must account for this and make your UI compatible with mobile devices. Mobile responsiveness helps to reach a much wider audience. 

Step 6: Choose a Method of Payment

Maximizing the payment options is always a good idea; along with online payment options, you must include COD (cash on delivery). You also need to account for growth. Instead of buying unlimited space and exceeding your budget, let people consolidate orders. By completing multiple orders in a single delivery, you optimize profit and efficiency!

Step 7: Market Your Store and Start Selling Online 

Invest time and money into an excellent digital marketing strategy. Create clever ads, implement SEO, and put up your products. You can continue improving your store and approach to online grocery selling once you go online while being severe competition. With ebounti platform, stores can promote their products and deals directly to customers through mobile and across social media channels at no extra cost.

Conclusion

Being on par with other brands during COVID-19 is very important. As the world increasingly goes digital, you need to go with it. Resisting change is ill-advised, especially when such a change increases your reach. 

ebounti is here to help you set up your online grocery store. At ebounti, we believe in the power of digital technology to make the shopping experience unique for our partners and their customers. We have invested in cutting edge shopping experience, a backend that ensures a real-time dashboard experience, automated inventory management and a unique Voice & Image-based search option for customers.

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