Should grocery shoppers and delivery personnel be talking?
Asda is testing an hourly delivery option that lets customers communicate directly with the “personal shopper” who is collecting their orders in-store.
A three-month trial of the service in Leeds and Bristol in the U.K. is being conducted in partnership with delivery platform, Buymie.
Asda wrote in a release, “Buymie’s network of personal shoppers will exclusively pick, pack and deliver each order, giving customers the ability to submit any preferences and discuss their requests — including the type of substitutes they would accept, if their original choice is unavailable.”
Delivery fees for the service range from £3.49 to £4.99 ($4.31 to $6.16). A processing fee of £1 ($1.23) also applies with the fee rising to £3 ($3.70) for small basket orders under £30 ($37.02).
Simon Gregg, SVPP of e-commerce at Asda, said, “We know that customers are increasingly looking for a more personalized service. The trial in Leeds and Bristol will give access to our full online range and a ‘personal shopper’ experience for bigger basket shops through Buymie’s interactive platform.”
Surveys show many consumers still prefer picking their own produce and meat and that a personal shopper option could virtually guide that process. A bigger benefit, however, could be managing out-of-stocks and finding the best substitutes.
According to Lucidworks’ “Shoppers Stay Hungry Online: Groceries on the Internet in 2022” study based on a survey of U.S. and U.K. grocery shoppers:
- Fifty-eight of customers frequently or at every visit experience unavailable products online.
- While customers are mostly open to purchasing recommended items as a substitute, roughly 90 percent have at least one grocery item that they will never substitute for based on ingredients, preparation and brand.
- Seventy-nine percent want to be notified when an item they like is back in stock (66 percent via email, 44 percent via text and 20 percent via auto-added to cart).
- Only about a quarter of shoppers say that grocery sites are making recommendations every time an item they want is unavailable and 11 percent reported that they rarely see recommendations for substitutes.
- Asda launches one hour grocery personal shopper service trial in partnership with buymie – Asda
- Grocers Miss Merchandising Opportunities by Not Showing Relevant Alternatives as “Out-of-Stock” Messages Increase – Lucidworks/Globe Newswire
- Shoppers Stay Hungry Online: Groceries on the Internet in 2022 – Lucidworks
- What Are the Top Online Grocery Pain Points? – Food Institute
- Should grocers leave delivery to third-party providers or do it themselves? – RetailWire
- Is timing more important than speed for grocery delivery? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Would enabling grocery shoppers to talk with their delivery personal help reduce substitution shortcomings and other e-grocery challenges? What do you see as the execution complexities? Would consumers pay enough of a premium to support the service?