As Covid-19 sends e-commerce skyrocketing, what does the future of supermarket deliver look like? Some might say the future is already here...
Convenience is the main word that springs to mind when thinking about supermarket shopping. Nowadays fitting something as important as food shopping into our hectic lives can be a struggle. That’s why various technologies are now in development and trial stages to make everything a bit more...well convenient.
Since the early 2000s we have been able to order our shopping online from a supermarket of our choice, however, we have been limited when it comes to timeliness. The customer would add various items to a basket on the supermarket’s website and choose a delivery slot when they were at home so they could receive the shop from a delivery van. All very easy until there isn’t a delivery slot that fits around your schedule. Do not disappear however because the future of supermarket shopping is closer than you think.
Now I know what you are thinking, the thought of robots making their way into our lives is rather hard to fathom but futuristically named Starship Technologies believe that this could be the way forward for the weekly shop. The concept is a self-driving delivery robot that can carry items within a 4-mile (6K) radius. Parcels, groceries and food are directly delivered from stores, at the time that the customer requests via a mobile app. Once ordered the robots’ entire journey and location can be monitored on a smartphone. The robots move at pedestrian speed and weigh no more than 100 pounds (45kg), they are programmed to be safe and can be navigated around objects and people. In terms of security, the cargo bay has an automatic locking system throughout the journey and can be unlocked with the smartphone app of the recipient.
The entire delivery platform is both energy- and cost-efficient and can be used for a large variety of tasks. In comparison to more traditional delivery services, things such as groceries, packages and food can be delivered for a fraction of the cost. Not only is this option convenient and easy to use for the customer but it excellent for the environment by reducing the use of delivery vehicles.
When you think of Ocado you think of a traditional supermarket delivery service, customers putting products into an online basket and then choosing a delivery slot for it to be delivered at their house. Recently Ocado has launched a new service, Ocado Zoom, giving customers the opportunity to order their products from an app and for said products to arrive with the customer within 60 minutes. The order will have a unique courier depending on the size. This takes customer convenience to a whole new level. Ocado aims to keep the delivery time as short as possible as well as cheap at a £1.50 - £2.50 delivery fee. Perfect for a last-minute bottle of wine delivered on a scooter or some last-minute party supplies in a bigger vehicle. With the popularity of food delivery apps such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat being at an all-time high do not be surprised to see Ocado Zoom being added to your most-used apps very soon.
Amazon has been a market leader for the convenience shopper in recent years, Prime delivery has allowed customers to purchase just about any product and have it delivered the next day. They are now jumping on the FMCG bandwagon by offering prime on groceries meaning some products can be with the customers on the same day as purchase. The reliability of Amazon Prime Delivery has come in to question recently however with deliveries that were supposed to be the same day arriving 1 or 2 days after purchase. Amazon will need to improve if they are to stay within touching distance of the other new wave of supermarket delivery services.