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The Freshness Wars

Posted by Michelle Johnson on May 29, 2018

Food delivery services are becoming increasingly important. A report by the Food Marketing Institute forecasts that consumer spending will grow to as much as $100 billion per year by 2022 for online groceries -- and for good reasons. Food delivery services and simple online ordering help you save time and provide convenience for individuals who want to eat something new without having to worry about meal planning.

But keeping these items fresh is a challenge for many online grocery delivery services. Yet, freshness is the key to getting ahead of behemoth competitors such as Amazon. To beat the competition, online grocery service Good Eggs is taking on Amazon by incorporating and leveraging freshness as part of its competitive strategy by picking fresh fruit off the vine and sending it directly to the consumer, bypassing the shelves of Whole Foods or other supermarkets. As soon as orders from Good Eggs come in, local farmers in San Francisco pick the organic fruits fresh to be delivered to the Good Eggs warehouse and packed and shipped just in time for same-day delivery. Freshness can also apply to other ready-made items consumers may want.

delivered-fresh-produce-cutHere are a few aspects to consider:

Fashion Retail

On-demand delivery services are nothing new in fashion retail, but the patterns that are driving the online grocery delivery sector can provide valuable lessons. One is that people are buying impulsively as they shop online and that they are buying less. But also what's important is that consumers are hunting for fresh offerings that are unique. The online grocery delivery service model must deal with challenges, such as shipping irregular items and maintaining freshness. To overcome these challenges, a robust ecommerce platform must be in place that facilitates automation. Fashion retailers who use these types of platforms can enhance their customers experiences by using inventory management and shipping capabilities that can support selecting, manufacturing, packaging and delivering unique products to the consumers' doorstep, such as oversized bags or luggage, avante garde outerwear, or even custom-made furniture.

Online Styling Services

blue-apron-serviceOnline grocery services also offer a modern model for online styling services by creating differentiation via customization or convenience. For instance, online meal delivery service Blue Apron helps consumers customize their meals based on their dietary preferences. New products and convenience are often the desire of consumers who take advantage of online styling services, but knowing what consumers truly desire requires leveraging ecommerce platforms that use data and purchase history to provide key recommendations that consumers will value. Online styling service Stitch Fix gets this done and differentiates itself from its competitors by leveraging data science to drive personalization and recommend outfits for its consumers based on current customer data, preferences and past buying patterns. Its stylists are able to quickly select outfits that the Stitch Fix consumer will likely want.

Food Meets Fashion

Beyond the delivery of products and services, the freshness wars also has potential to push collaboration among unlikely brands. Take for example 2017's collaboration between Story and Jet.com. Story created an innovative concept that featured Jet.com in a food-meets-fashion mashup. Jet.com offerings were featured alongside indie and established brands in Story's New York experiential store and demonstrated how online impacts, such as online grocery services, drive consumer behavior offline.

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Final Thoughts

Today's consumers have higher expectations. They want convenience, freshness and an enhanced customer experience. To delivery on consumer demand when your offering products or services online, you have to embrace ecommerce solutions that facilitate the speed and expertise you need. By leveraging ecommerce platforms, you can deliver products that are fresh and on time at the convenience of your target audiences' homes for an enhanced customer experience.

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Onestop Internet brings all these services together, putting the tools that power great commerce into the hands of retailers. Economies of scale make the difference between struggling to keep up and confident, sustainable growth in ecommerce. With a vertically integrated partner on their side, organizations can focus on the products and services they know best while reaping all the rewards that come with advanced, international operations.

Topics: last mile delivery, shipping, meal delivery, Ecommerce, customer experience, online styling, freshness wars, food, customization

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