Is online shopping ready for checkout? - The Packer

Is online shopping ready for checkout?

12/30/2013 09:23:00 AM
Tom Karst

One member said:

“I was one of those guys who said bag salads were not going to make it. Whoops!! I underestimated how lazy people have become. In the city, I can see it more than the outer areas.”

Another wrote:

“Bigger than anyone thinks and it is not going to take 15 years. Check out Lufa Farms in Montreal. They grow in greenhouses on roofs in the city. ‘Click and collect’ at a weekly shopping mall parking lot. They can not grow fast enough to keep up with demand. They just built their second facility and they are planning a third. Home delivery and online shopping is here now and growing fast. Amazon only wants to get a piece of the action. Farmers are cutting out the middleman and going to ‘farm direct marketing.’”

A retailer writes:

“I think that online fresh food will be commonplace in the next five years — at least in the major cities. As a retailer, my best strategy will be to provide the best customer service I can, as well as try to compete with pricing — pretty much what I’m already doing. Amazon won’t have a physical presence other than the brown box that shows up at your doorstep. I feel that going into a store and having someone to talk to will always be appreciated and wanted by customers.”

And what about wrinkles and tweaks in the model?

“Consistency is the goal more so in this business. If the home deliveries consistently provide the quality that each customer is willing to pay for, then it will be very common. Human interaction is a habit, which can also change if it hasn’t already started curving toward less and less. There is a new app called Boxed Wholesale Delivery. It only deals in dry goods, but the idea is firm. If someone can figure out how to sell certain vegetables through the Web (to be) home delivered by USPS in two to three days, then that would be something.”

Those are just a few of the comments on the topic. Please join the conversation at The Packer Market and share your thoughts on the issue.

If the online threat is indeed real, the implications for all parts of the supply chain are immense. How would sales of produce be changed if a greater and greater percentage of consumers ordered fresh fruits and vegetables online for home delivery? Would impulse sales increase or decrease?

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