Coronavirus Forces People Over 60 to Buy Groceries Online

The outbreak of coronavirus is pushing Americans to buy their groceries on the web, an advancement that could have a lasting impact on the supermarket industry.

While shopping for books and electronics on the web and requesting supper through conveyance apps have become staples of American life, most customers still want to purchase their meat and vegetables at the store. Last year, just 4% of basic food item sales in the United States came web based, according to Nielsen.

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Notwithstanding, with shoppers stuck in their homes in the wake of the virus, online shopping for food is detonating. Downloads of Instacart, Walmart’s staple app and Shipt increased 218%, 160%, and 124% respectively last Sunday compared with a year earlier.

We are seeing a larger percentage of customers beyond 60 years old that are coming online,” said JJ Fleeman, boss internet business official for Ahold Delhaize in the United States, which owns brands like Stop and Shop, Food Lion and the online conveyance service Peapod. “We’re seeing a great deal of new customers coming into the channel.”

33% of consumers said Sunday that they had purchased groceries for online pickup or conveyance in the past seven days, according to a survey by analysts at Gordon Haskett Research Advisors. Around 41% said they were buying groceries online just because.

Consumer behaviors always shift in times of disaster,” said Doug Baker, VP of industry relations at FMI, a trade group for nourishment retailers. “Individuals are learning new skills and how to shop online as a result of what we’re encountering today.”

Maria Alvarado in Phoenix usually shops in person for groceries at Walmart or Safeway, but she took a stab at requesting on the web last week just because through Walmart’s in-store pickup alternative. She plans to keep using the service.

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When things return to normal, I will probably use online again,” she said. “It was really easy.

Large grocers like Walmart, Albertsons, Stop and Shop, Meijer, Hy-Vee and others have been trying different things with new ways to fulfill online orders as of late. They have increasingly looked to innovation to reduce costs and keep aisles from jamming up with shoppers and workers picking customers’ orders.

Grocers have been building automated smaller than normal warehouses inside their stores and opening up “dark stores” — locations that look like supermarkets but are closed to customers — to make deliveries and prepare pickup orders.

However the crush of demand in the wake of coronavirus has overpowered grocers’ conveyance and pickup networks, causing long waits, cancellations and outages in some parts of the country.

The surge in online basic food item orders is causing operational difficulties,” said Bill Bishop, CEO of basic food item consulting firm Brick Meets Click.

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Article origin : CNN Business https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/19/business/grocery-shopping-online-coronavirus/index.html

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