Online Grocery Challenges


Shopping online for clothes, cosmetics, books, and electronics has been an ordinary consumer behavior for at least a decade. When it comes to restocking the fridge or pantry with groceries, though, it was assumed that most shoppers prefer a good old fashioned in-store visit.

However, in the face of a global health crisis, consumer behavior has radically changed, and expectations have skyrocketed, leaving grocers struggling to meet demand and challenged to digitally transform. The value of the online grocery shopping industry is expected to grow in all markets worldwide, up to $354.2 billion by 2021, according to ReportLinker, so there is no better time than now for retailers to boost ecommerce plans.

To understand how consumer behavior shifts, take a glance at upcoming holiday shopping, for example. Data from Salesforce Research shows 75% of worldwide consumers surveyed in May 2020 are no longer or less interested in shopping in store for the holidays compared to last year. Only 22% of retailers were ranked excellent during the COVID-19 pandemic by worldwide consumers in June 2020. This gap in service delivery is an opportunity for retailers to reengage with customers on a digital level and rethink their store experience.

How Digital Capabilities Meet Customer Expectations

When launching or enhancing an ecommerce shop, grocery retailers are seeking to ensure that their online experience puts shoppers’ needs first, while exceeding expectations and optimizing every step of the shopping journey. The supermarket industry extends its effectiveness by providing online stores that allow consumers to:

Repeat Orders: Consumers often have predictable tastes and loyalty to many grocery products and brands, so websites should ensure customers have an option to save an order or sign up for recurring orders to save time and demonstrate convenience.

Shareable Cart: Grocery shopping is often a shared activity between family members or roommates. Making your shopping cart shareable with other registered users allows people to get items ordered and delivered in one single transaction.

Abandoned Cart Recovery: The average shopping cart abandonment rate is nearly 75%. Retailers should deploy a solution to automatically send reminders to customers who add products to their cart without completing an order.

Add Recipes and Ingredient Lists: If grocers could add recipe ideas and recommend them on product pages, it may catch a customer’s eye and entice them to buy more items. Enabling the possibility to include recipe ingredients into shopping and wish lists will set the path to future purchases.

Offer Coupons: It’s common for retailers to send discount coupons to promote seasonal sales or other promotions. Grocery retailers should ensure that their website can receive and process coupons and other offers.

Other important features grocery merchants should implement for a memorable customer experience:

  • The possibility to update orders in a mini cart
  • Enjoy a simple/user-friendly checkout
  • Have a variety of delivery options and time slots
  • Include packing instructions

Want to Launch? Offer Fast-and-Easy Shopping and Pick Up Options

Grocers who were caught unprepared for COVID-19 may want an ecommerce site built quickly to give shoppers a place to order and keep their business. Quick Start Grocery, developed by OSF Digital and powered by Salesforce Commerce Cloud, is a scalable, innovative solution allowing retailers to open a new revenue and distribution channel. This new channel will enable retailers to sell groceries and essential products to customers and access better insights into customer behavior.

This out-of-the-box commerce solution helps grocery brands affected by changes in consumer behavior a solution to overcome the shopping challenges caused by the pandemic.

Quick Start Grocery offers OSF clients:

  • Storefront branded theme with a responsive design for web and mobile and a rich multi-level menu for subcategories for strong branding and easy navigation
  • Store locator, and pick up option on check out
  • Enhanced product descriptions, including nutritional facts
  • ‘Add to cart’ search suggestions
  • Order instructions, bagging fees, wish list and scheduled pick up

Quick Start Grocery has flexible functionality and can also be used to launch a small brand or allow your company to offer, for example, a “build an essentials box” initiative that includes many types of products from various brands.

Want to Expand? Enhance Your Online Store for a More Engaging Customer Experience

To be able to meet and exceed their customers’ expectations, grocers should focus on enhancing their online stores and customizing them according to the specific market requirements. This endeavor can’t be successful without a highly scalable ecommerce solution that extends standard Salesforce Commerce Cloud capabilities.

Fast Commerce Grocery, a custom solution built by OSF Digital on Salesforce Commerce Cloud, allows global retailers to expand digital capabilities and functionality at a lower cost, with reduced time to market. This ecommerce solution offers grocery industry-specific customizations within Salesforce Commerce Cloud, including:

  • Extensive product categorization
  • Ability to sell products by weight, unit, and package
  • Daily promotions
  • Consumer purchase history per store
  • Shopping list creation
  • Packaging instructions
  • Multiple delivery options

Fast Commerce Grocery helps grocery brands provide consumers with an exceptional online shopping experience. Grocery retailers obtain support for inventories held at each store, offer multiple delivery and fulfillment options, and benefit from grocery-specific product configurations, among other unique features.

OSF Digital has a deep understanding of pain points, challenges, and objectives in the supermarket retail industry. OSF Digital delivers some of the most extensive projects in the commerce space, helping manage multiple brands within a single site. Our solutions can improve customer service, delivery process, customer satisfaction while providing a positive and personalized customer experience with a full range of payment options.

With more than a decade of experience delivering business strategies and specific commerce solutions across different industries and markets, OSF Digital possesses a deep understanding of the unique requirements of the grocery sector. Contact OSF’s team of experts to learn how we can help accelerate your online grocery sales growth.

Simion Petrov

Author: Simion Petrov, SVP of Innovation and Industries

Simion began his career at OSF in 2007 when he entered the internship program as a software developer and quickly ascended within the company holding roles as a team leader and project manager. From 2013 to 2018, Simion established and optimized the company's commerce division, growing the group to over 400 people who delivered over 200 projects, making OSF Digital one of Salesforce’s top ecommerce partners. He has created new local structures designed to support the company's rapid growth in APAC and LATAM while at the same time, worked on innovation of the company's processes, best practices, and products including the creation of the OSF Product Labs program.