- At some locations, customers can now order groceries from Kroger and pick them up at Walgreens.
- Walmart has seen success with its “order online and pick up at the store” strategy.
- Amazon disrupted the grocery business with its Whole Foods acquisition.
Amazon has disrupted virtually every consumer industry — starting with online book sales to most recently enabling you to order your live Christmas tree — and its success in online grocery shopping is driving grocery chains like Kroger and other major retailers to make big changes to compete.
Grocery stores might be the last frontier of brick-and-mortar stores. Still, U.S. grocery delivery providers are looking to take a larger share of the estimated $17.5 billion U.S. grocery market by providing new online ordering and delivery services. The latest companies to enter the game are Kroger and Walgreens, which announced Oct. 2, 2018, that they are joining forces to provide expanded one-stop shopping options. Here’s how these big retail players and others are changing the way you shop for groceries, using technology to make shopping easier for you.
Click to read about the best and worst things to buy online.
Kroger and Walgreens Test Online Grocery Shopping and Pickup
Kroger and Walgreens are teaming up to take on retail and e-commerce giants Walmart and Amazon, among other companies. Under the new partnership, customers can order from Kroger and pick up their groceries at participating Walgreens locations. The concept is being tested for the next several months in 13 Walgreens stores in Northern Kentucky and, if successful, could roll out nationwide.
The partnership places Kroger house brands Simple Truth and Private Selection in more brick-and-mortar Walgreens locations while enabling Kroger to mimic Amazon and Walmart’s approach to giving customers the option to order items online and pick up at store locations — or, in the case of Amazon, at lockers set up at various retail partner locations such as Whole Foods.
Walmart Grocery Pickup Success Is a Big Win in Competition With Amazon
Walmart seems to be succeeding with its “order online and pick up at the store” strategy, with 42 percent of shoppers indicating their last click-and-collect order was from Walmart, according to Packaged Facts. Even better for the retailer, half of the shoppers who went into the store to pick up their order also purchased additional items while there. Food products comprise only about 5 percent of these Walmart grocery purchases, according to Food Dive, which represents an opportunity for Kroger and Walgreens to capitalize off of making shopping more convenient for customers.
Amazon’s Grocery Services With Whole Foods Changed the Game
Amazon took a giant leap forward in the grocery wars when it purchased Whole Foods in 2017 and then quickly cut prices. Amazon Fresh customers in select cities can now order groceries from Whole Foods and have them delivered, or, in some locations, ready for in-store pickup, in as little as an hour.
What’s more, Amazon Pantry is available to Amazon Prime members for a small, additional fee. The service ships groceries in a single box to customers, and includes deals and coupons on everyday items such as cereal and household products.
Other Online Grocery Shopping Services Available for Use
Peapod is a grocery delivery service that has teamed up with regional supermarket chains to provide delivery and stay competitive in the growing online grocery shopping industry. Billing itself as “the country’s leading Internet grocer,” Peapod started in 1989 and is now a subsidiary of Ahold Delhaize, which is the parent company of Stop & Shop and Food Lion. Shoppers schedule their deliveries in a two-hour window and must order at least a day ahead.
Instacart is a sort of Uber for groceries and does not affiliate with specific stores. Independent contractors will shop for you at the store you choose and deliver your purchases to your home. You can also have someone shop for you and have your purchases ready at the store for you to pick up.
All of these options mean more competition for online grocery orders, and that means better prices and better service for you.
Click through to read more about grocery buys at Target and Walmart, compared section by section.
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