Are new hires needed to effectively do online grocery? One of the best approaches is to leverage your existing staff by limiting pickup times at the start. Noon and 5 PM are very popular so consider having a single pickup available at Noon, 1 PM, 3 PM and 5 PM. Pick a motivated associate who is great with customers, careful with details and is familiar with the entire store. Once the store is looking great at 9:30 AM your Personal Shopper can pick orders, starting with the Noon slot and have it all ready and staged by Noon. This approach allows you to launch online without major staffing changes. As the Shopper gets better at picking begin adding slots, perhaps a few more at Noon and 5 PM, then expanding to morning hours as demand builds. Weekends can be popular but each market is different so grow into seven days a week.
Personal Shoppers are the most important part of online grocery. Their ability to correctly pull orders, to be friendly and build relationships with customers make them critical brand ambassadors. It is an exciting new opportunity and you should find a couple of associates that are ready to step up to the challenge.
Your online grocery platform is also critical to a successful launch. It should allow you to have different options for any slot. For example, a Noon order must be placed by 8 AM on the same day, a 5 PM order must be placed by 1 PM. This requires pickers to be available for the afternoon and you may want to have it all done in the morning, so you could require all orders to be placed by Midnight the previous day. Delivery options can be even more complex, with limit in distance or ZIP codes or additional fees for longer deliveries. Other options are to charge more for same day or one hour orders or limit the size of one hour orders. Flexibility in the platform will allow you to provide great options for customers with minimal impact on store operations.
If your market requires that you launch with a full spectrum of pickup or delivery slots make certain that the entire organization is committed to online grocery. The rewards can be great but don’t underestimate the time required for training and preparation for a strong and successful launch.
Freshop’s customers have been terrific by hosting other retailers to see how to launch a powerful program, to discuss pitfalls and to learn from each other. If you are exploring pickup or delivery please reach out to email@example.com to have a detailed conversation of your needs and how online grocery with Freshop can help your business.