Online orders increase sales for grocery stores

VIDEO: Online grocery orders appear to increase sales for local grocers

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Local grocery store executives believe curb-side pick up is here to stay, and it turns out it might actually be beneficial for their profits.

Market 33 and United Foods originally expected to lose money due to online ordering.

Groceries believed the lack of impulse buys and free samples would cause their profits to go down.

It turns out the average online shopper typically puts more items in their basket than the in-person shopper. This has led to an increase in sales.

“We lose the impulse shopper a little bit, you know, if you’re like me and you go to the grocery store and you see something that’s not on the grocery list, your tendency is to pick it up because it looks good or if someone gives a sample to you or something,” said Chief Operations Officer of United Supermarkets, Chris James. “But at the same time, I think you get a lot of the total basket. If someone is going to take the time and go online and order, they’re probably going to get all of their needs instead of just some of their needs, and the orders seem to be larger.”

Jarrett Cophernham, the vice president of Ken’s Venture Foods, which owns Market 33 and Fiesta Foods, says the average basket size of their online shopper is significantly larger than that of an in-person shopper.

“We have definitely seen a difference in curb-side, my conception was that [we would] lose the impulse buy. But actually, what we found is that the average basket size of an online shopper is significantly more than what they would be buying if they came in the store and pushed a basket around," said Cophernham.

Prior to COVID-19, it was common for customers to enter a grocery store only looking to buy a few items. Now, that is far less likely to be the case.

Stores have also hired additional employees, such as personal shoppers, to meet these demands.

“That’s pretty labor intensive for us at the store so we have had to hire a lot of people. We’ve actually added, through COVID-19, we’ve added a lot of staff in our stores. Especially, you might see personal shoppers who are out there shopping up and down the aisles for the guests to come by and pick it up,” said James.

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