How to build trust and customer loyalty delivering groceries.

Happy customers

According to the Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. How then can grocers ensure that the customers that are shopping on their websites and getting their groceries picked or delivered, remain loyal to their online brand and don't buy elsewhere?

The big answer is Customer Experience! Customer experience starts with the online shopping experience, where customers can easily find the products they are looking for with clear images for every item, and only showing products that are in stock. Nobody wants to order a birthday cake for their daughter's party, and find out half-an-hour before the party that the cake is not in stock!

Personalizing the online shopping experience is also very important. Using AI to understand what customers are interested in, and offering those products to them while they browse gives customers a tailor-made experience that they enjoy while growing the basket size.

Additionally, giving customers the ability to shop from previously placed orders can make the weekly trip to the supermarket only a few clicks away.

While all this is important, grocers need to ensure that their customers are receiving the best produce, packaged to maintain their quality correctly, and delivered with a smile.

Fresh Direct, a New York based e-commerce-only grocer, understands the importance of customer experience. In an interview with Progressive Grocer, Fresh Direct CEO David McInerney elaborated on how they earn customers' trust picking their fresh produce, with a star-rating system. "Let’s just take fruit. Fruit changes throughout the year. These are particularly good right now. Six months from now, in June and July, citrus just isn’t going to be good. People don’t know that, so they’re still going to order citrus. Our way around that is our star rating system. What we do is, we have a team of people that go through and rate every single prototype, and we have over 600 items. And they literally do just that. They cut them, and they taste them, and they give it a rating of one to five stars. One star means it’s not good, don’t buy it. And that’s a very counterintuitive retail thought, to sell something that you’re saying isn’t good.

Grocers already understand the importance of their cashiers representing their brand, and the importance of giving customers the best personal experience in-store. Grocers need to place the same importance on the person delivering the groceries to their customers. If the interaction is a positive one, customers will be more likely to shop again at that retailer. If however, the experience is a bad one, the customer will turn to another delivery service the next time they buy online.

With the Grocery e-commerce market set to quadruple by 2023 according to research done by Rockville, MD. - Based market research firm Packaged Facts, grocers need to make sure that they remain ahead of the curve, and must learn how to serve their customers' needs online before they become loyal to other brands.

For a free e-commerce proforma by long-time grocery executive and CEO of Self Point, Mike Haaf, reach out to me at

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