Only two to three decades ago, the only way to shop was to physically visit a grocery store and pick the items you wanted. Stores flocked with buyers, and long queues were common as people lined up to pay for groceries. But that was before technology had advanced well enough, and not many people owned technological gadgets like internet-enabled phones or PCs. The internet was slowly taking shape, and technology “gurus” were yet to figure out how it could help with shopping.
Enter The Smartphone-shopping Age
Then came smartphones, and a large number of people suddenly got access to the internet. It was to be a game changer, a turning point in the history of shopping. Grocery stores saw the need to improve the quality of services they were giving their customers. Buyers expected better customer handling and convenience. The term e-commerce was coined. Suddenly, grocery shopping became easy; shoppers could visit virtual grocery stores online, sample the items on sale, pick what they wanted and collect the shopping later at a time of their choice.
The Online Shopping Craze
Today, a good number of people do their shopping online. It’s more convenient and gives more room for choice and comparison. It’s also time-saving compared to having to take a trip to the grocery store to choose your items. Some stores have delivery services while others will package your shopping and have it ready for you to collect anytime you wish. There are even app’s that let you scan your items with your smartphone or tablet, compute the cost as you continue picking items and send the total to the point of sale. It’s a system that makes shopping quick, and queues are unheard of.
Other app’s like El Grocer (Dubai based crowd-funded application) connects customers to grocery stores. Users can use the app to browse stores, select products, and receive notifications once the order has been processed and leaves the store.
Another example from Lebanon would be Toters! Toters is an on-demand delivery app that allows customers to order from various restaurants and grocery stores, including those stores that don’t offer delivery services themselves.
What’s The future of Grocery shopping?
As programmers continue to create apps and websites that make online shopping a better and hassle-free experience, shopping for groceries is set to become even more convenient and excitingly simple. Online shopping will be more real, with shoppers being able to take virtual tours of grocery store aisles. Perhaps the stores themselves will become more of virtual stores, with only a few physical outlets.
Check out my original article here.