There's more to convenience than fast deliveries

Mar 26, 2021

Erik Wallin

One year into the pandemic, the shift to online grocery shopping seems here to stay. Now, the focus is on making that experience more convenient. Northfork Co-founder Erik Wallin explains:

"Doing the weekly shop online is all well and good. However, what happens when you need a single missing ingredient straight away? This is where we're seeing the focus right now."

Meeting instant needs

Investors are certainly backing increasingly short delivery times. Companies such as goPuff in the US, Gorillas in Germany and Weezy and Dija in the UK are attracting major attention. And major funding. goPuff's instant needs fulfilment model has seen the company raise $1.15 billion in funding at an $8.9 billion valuation. That comes just months after its previous raise. Gorillas' Series A raise comes in at $44 million.

How does the instant needs model work? Dark convenience stores and hyper local fulfilment centres are key. These are enabling the fulfilment of orders in record time. Gorillas' average delivery time is just 10 minutes.

Reducing friction

Mark Rogers, Northfork's VP of Growth, reminds us that convenience isn't just about deliveries. There's the planning side of the online grocery shopping experience to consider as well. He comments:

"Elevating online grocery retail to the next level means reducing friction for the shopper. They need to experience convenience in meal planning. In filling their cart with recipe ingredients and staple items. In discovering new products. That entire journey from inspiration to delivery needs attention."

Delivering this convenience means investing in technologies and strategies that deliver intuitive grocery shopping models.

"There needs to be a virtuous circle," continues Rogers. "Convenience in recipe discovery needs to flow into cooking and rating, then back to planning. Increasing personalisation has a big role to play here. It's the future of online grocery."