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LS Retail | 06 December 2018

How to build an effective e-commerce platform for your supermarket

How to build an effective e-commerce platform for your supermarket

The market is ready. Customers are interested in shopping for groceries online - many are already doing it, and even more are ready to try it. What can you do to take advantage of the great opportunities ahead? We have come up with 8 great tips to build an effective e-commerce platform so that you can win and retain customers.

Make it simple

When building your website, focus on usability. Make it easy for people to register; to speed up registration times, you could for example allow customers to sign up through third-party apps, such as Facebook. Ensure short page load times: most grocery shoppers buy online for speed and convenience. If your pages are slow to load, people might abandon their cart without completing the purchase. Guarantee a secure checkout process.

Think of the different platforms

Modern consumers access website from mobiles and tablets, as well as computers. A study from June 2015 reported that retailers in the UK alone are missing out on $10 billion a year by not going mobile. Make sure that your website works on all platforms to tap into this opportunity.

Help your customers find what they need

Make sure your website is simple to navigate, and that users can easily search for the items they are looking for, add them to the cart and pay. Use predictive suggestions to help customers find their items faster; this is especially important when people are browsing your website via a mobile, as it can be hard and tiring to scroll through a long list of items on a small screen. To simplify and speed up the buying process, enable shopping lists and give your registered customers the possibility to see their shopping history and copy items from previous shopping trips. This way it will be easy for users to add staples or family favorites to the current basket.

Offer flexible deliveries

Give your shoppers wide choice of delivery methods and times. People shop online because of convenience; ensure that your delivery times are flexible, allowing busy people to receive their goods when it works best for them – for example before going to work, or late in the evening.

Feature the right product mix

Although the right product mix widely varies based on geographical location, according to a recent research on grocery online shopping some product categories have more potential for e-commerce success. These include, for example, items with a long shelf life, such as personal care and beauty products, as well as specialty and niche items, as e-commerce enables companies to offer greater product selection.

Guarantee high quality

Many people are still wary of buying food online because they like to see and touch the products – fresh ones in particular – before buying them. Overcome this barrier by offering quality insurance. This means that customers can exchange the products, or get their money back, if the food gets damaged in transit or if it does not meet the shopper’s expectations at delivery.

Partner up with like-minded companies

Consumers want to be able to order online and receive their goods shortly, and at a time that is convenient for them. To manage timely delivery and distribution of your goods, consider partnering up with distribution agents. This is the model of successful startup Instacart, and many supermarkets are following suit.

Tie the online and in-store experience

Use the digital to add value to the in-store shopping experience, and to bridge the gap between channels. Make sure that your customers have a consistent brand experience, whichever the channel they choose to shop. Create a connection by offering coupons that can be used online and offline, and by installing computers in your stores so that customers can view the extended product ranges available in your e-commerce portal.   Is your supermarket’s e-commerce portal up for the challenge? If you need some help, do not hesitate to contact us: we have helped many grocery businesses go from good to great.
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