Demand and COVID-19 are exposing the cracks challenging e-Grocery. Customers are visiting an average of 2.3 retailers to find the items they need to complete grocery orders. Collection times are days out or not available as retailers struggle to keep up with order demand while relying on manual picking.
In an era when brand loyalty is on a downward trend, grocers need to identify not only the benefits automation brings to their operations, but how this impacts their customer; to find a balance between fulfilling online orders and providing for in-store shoppers.
AutoStore is the fastest order fulfillment system per square foot on the market today and presents a bin every 6 seconds. With this speed, increase the cap on the number of orders you accept each hour. Your staff can fulfill orders in minutes. And your shoppers can collect their order within hours.
What does this mean for your shopper? Her order is ready in an hour. Or he can select a pickup time later in the day that works with his schedule. She can ensure her collection will be contactless because you offer multiple collection options: curbside, delivery, in-store.
There are any number of reasons customers are shopping online for groceries. The main point is, they are selecting specific items and trusting your team to fulfill the order accurately.
It’s now a common sight to see a store employee with a cart working on online orders and staring in puzzlement at the shelf. Or a third-party shopper frantically messaging with the customer to confirm an item or a replacement. The chance of error is increased when it isn’t the shopper selecting their own goods.
AutoStore is cube-based storage; bins containing inventory are stacked on top of and next to each other tightly in a grid. The system knows what SKUs are in what bin. When an order comes in, the system tells the robot to pick a bin to deliver to a workstation and the employee is presented with a limited number of options. Gone is a shelf of multiple possibilities; now it is only a single bin with a reduced number of options and a system telling him exactly where in the bin the item is located.
What does this mean for your shopper? He knows he will receive the free-range eggs rather than the cage free eggs. She returns to your store again because she doesn’t need to stay glued to her phone to quickly respond while someone else is shopping.
The profit margin with online grocery sales is small. The question becomes how to increase profitability. Aside from removing the cost of a third-party and manual shoppers, tapping into the ability to keep a customer at your store becomes key.
Research shows shoppers are purchasing across an average of 5 grocery categories online and visiting an average of 2.3 retailers online. Offering your customer more inventory options leads to larger baskets.
But going online is more than just placing items on a webshop. You have thousands of SKUs and brands are constantly adding more. AutoStore provides a place to store all those tens of thousands of SKUs with the flexibility to grow. You have a space to store the 8-, 16-, and 32-ounce jars of mayonnaise and provide all 3 options to your online customer.
What does this mean for your shopper? He stays with your store and spends more money when he sees there is a wider selection of options. She no longer places an order with your store for non-perishable items and then visits another store for larger-sized cleaning products and toiletries.
An online grocery order is placed. The first available time is two days out. The customer is now tied to her phone to respond to “replacement” items. Items that were in stock two days ago are no longer available due to demand or stock movement.
When using AutoStore, stock movement is eliminated. Employees are presented with single bin containing the specific inventory rather than a shelf of options. The system also tracks inventory movement so you can monitor stock levels. With order fulfillment happening in minutes, customers are no longer forced to wait days until the retailer can process and fulfill their order.
What does this mean for your shopper? She is no longer tied to her phone while her order is processing as she is seeing a real-time inventory count as she shops. And her order is getting fulfilled within 30 minutes of submission. He stays with one retailer for a greater percentage of his shopping because the grocer can fulfill his shopping list.