With more and more people getting online – it is estimated that over 3.5 billion people access the net in some form – eCommerce has become big business. It’s hard for new eCommerce startups to get a foothold in the industry, though. There is a lot of competition from giants like Amazon.com, for one. Also, the market saturation for popular business niches like travel (50%) and electronics (35%) is very high.
Online grocery stores are a unique proposition
Online grocery stores stand to make a killing – they sell something everyone needs and the market saturation is very low (less than 3%). Startups like Instacart, Bigbasket, and PepperTap have made a lot of money these past few years.
Problems associated with selling groceries online
Selling groceries online can be very tricky because of the nature of the goods being sold. Here is a list of some of the common problems entrepreneurs face while operating a grocery store.
Groceries like milk, butter, and vegetables require refrigerated storage. It is difficult to keep goods from spoiling, and excellent management efficiency is needed to handle them.
Lightning-quick delivery required:
Unlike electronics, people will expect the groceries to be delivered the very same day, which translates to a high delivery cost, and great experience with inventory chain-management.
High packaging costs:
It is time-consuming and resource-intensive to package goods like eggs and vegetables, especially separately and safely.
Limited return window:
There is almost no return window involved with shipping perishable items. You have to get it right the first time, or your business will have to bear the loss.
Early backers will win
According to research, the online grocery business is growing at a steady clip, at around 11%. Grocery companies will generate revenues more than $20 billion in the US alone by 2025. Startups entering now will benefit.
While there are significant challenges associated with selling groceries online shopping, it is something anyone can do, even from home, with only a small investment. If this is you, it’s important that you get a well-designed website and an app, to provide a seamless user experience.