The shift in consumer behavior towards online grocery has been on an upswing, and the current COVID19 crisis has flung it into the spotlight. As the pandemic pushes a wider demographic of end-users to resort to online applications for the delivery of groceries, the surge in demand has been massive. The e-grocery market is currently expected to grow at a CAGR of 20.63%. Reports suggest that e-grocery applications have increased in popularity in the countries of the Asia-pacific region.  As a result, countries like India, China, Japan, and South Korea are expected to show the highest growth in this sector in the coming years.

UrbanPiper: The Inside Story

True to the forecasts, UrbanPiper, also saw a huge spike in demand for online grocery delivery. The company has tied up with the food aggregator giants like Swiggy, Zomato, Dunzo, and Ubereats, for the past 3 years, to provide a platform to restaurants for the management of online orders from various online channels, directly from their POS. The flourishing online grocery landscape seems to have piqued the interest of all of UrbanPiper’s stakeholders: FSAs, Restaurant businesses, Supermarkets & Kiranas, and POS.

With the boom in e-grocery, Zomato and Swiggy have diversified their offerings from food to groceries with Zomato Market and Swiggy Store alongside existing players in the sector, like Dunzo. Grocers are rushing to take advantage of the market potential by selling through these online channels. Not only are kiranas and supermarkets delving into online grocery delivery, but restaurants are also doubling up as grocers.

The sizable market opportunity that has presented itself has prompted UrbanPiper to expand its strategic partnerships with Zomato and Swiggy — to cover the integrations necessary to automate the grocery related workflows. The increase in e-grocery ordering has left grocers scrambling to fulfill customer demands. Effective steps and quick decisions need to be made to fulfill orders profitably and efficiently. UrbanPiper, which has recently onboarded 100+ stores on its platform in the grocery and essential segment, identified 4 major touchpoints that are key to run a successful e-grocery business on these online marketplaces—

  1. Management of inventory: For e-grocers, keeping their head over the water during the time of peril and beyond it becomes imperative. Efficiency is key when it comes to order fulfillment. UrbanPiper platform provides store managers the capacity to toggle menu items on/off, across all online channels—Swiggy Stores & Zomato Market from the POS itself, thereby improving efficiency and cutting down on order cancellations & modifications
  2. Staying on top of those online orders: From millennials to baby boomers—a growing population is opting for delivery of essentials at their doorstep. For an e- grocer, this implies having to manage large order volumes with efficiency, accuracy, and swiftness. The UrbanPiper Platform allows store operators to directly manage online orders from the POS and also automate order status updates—thereby completely eradicating the need to juggle between multiple aggregator dashboards.
  3. Managing online menu: Managing menus across multiple online marketplaces and maintaining menu sanity is a daunting task, to say the least. To address this challenge faced by most online sellers, particularly those with complex menus, UrbanPiper equips the e-grocer with the unique ability to configure catalog items and push it across multiple online channels in real-time.
  4. Reconciliation of data: Data is king. Access to accurate data is crucial to any business to keep track of its finances. Reconciliation is a messy affair, especially when one has to rely entirely on aggregators for reports. UrbanPiper provides the business with consolidated reports of all their data, which can be used by a brand to reconcile their data smartly and avoid any dispute.

The growth in the e-grocery has spurred UrbanPiper’s business relationships in this segment. Major brands such as Warm Oven, Box 8, Nandu’s, and Meatigo have already partnered with the company to ease the hassles of their grocery business.

The POS Perspective

As the popularity of the e-grocery space increases, the Point of Sale (POS) industry is also leveraging this market opportunity. While existing POS players like GoFrugal, E-retail and Marg were already serving the grocery and retail sector, new POS players are also strategizing to expand into this burgeoning space.

The Future is Now

It is uncertain how the grocery space will exactly look like in the aftermath of the COVID19 crisis. As consumers get used to the convenience of getting groceries delivered to their doorstep, and e-grocers enhance their customer services and operations, it is safe to say that in the long run, e-grocery is here to stay.