Secure Grocery Delivery - When Customers Are NOT Home - an Absolute MUST for Local Grocers

Every business owner knows the reasons to pursue customer retention and the #1 reason is that it's a lot cheaper to retain a customer than to pursue new customers and the #2 reason is that they represent much higher profits overall vs new customers. Investment in product development, technology, marketing, customer feedback, branding, market differentiation and improved access and delivery are also optimized with current customers.

Why Hang Your Reputation on Grocery Delivery?

There is a significant percentage of the population, surveys say as high as 54%, that want online grocery and delivery...affordable delivery. So, those customers are currently searching. Because there are thresholds such as the cost of delivery, time constraints waiting for deliverers, technology, seasonal and weekend peaks that fill booking slots, there are many reasons for your current customers to look around for other sources. With PorchBoxDrop, you offer a solution that helps to retain the 'best' of those customers.

Who is PorchBoxDrop?

Food Delivery - Restaurants Had Similar Issues Years Ago

First, we would like to share that we have some experience with online food ordering and delivery as a developer of online ordering dating back 8 years. Our observation, and mine as a recent convert to online grocery ordering and delivery, is that the evolution for grocery is similar to restaurants. The differences are that grocers sometimes farm out the picking and the delivery. Most restaurateurs would never give up the picking, because that represents the meal cooking and preparation and the many deliveries they have, they stack and generally use part timers to handle for them.

However, restaurant experiences with online ordering should be considered, since the complexities and risks are similar to a grocers. The major pizza chains were first, and already investing big numbers in building online ordering platforms, far beyond the economic reach of 'moms and pops'. Local pizzarias and restaurants were hesitant to invest unavailable funding to build their own online ordering apps and were wary of templated online ordering apps that were inexpensive because of the technology and implementation which was confusing to them. However, online ordering and delivery was exploding in popularity, hurting locals, even those that thought the attraction of their "flavors, service, history and experience were exemplary". I can't count how many owners told me "my customers will never go away...they love my cooking! It wasn't enough. Today, the major chains send more than half their orders away for delivery and reduced their footprint - no chairs or tables - to keep costs low. They average in the range of $750k a year while locals clear just over $300k. Generally, locals continue to flounder.

In 2013 more than two dozen locals closed down just in our local area and a fewer number of chains opened locations that each did more than double the sales volume of the locals. Long time customers were interrupting their loyalty to sample the new delivery practices of chains that local pizza places had been waiting too long to adopt. First, it was a few percentage points, then ten, then more than half. Market share continue to move. So, locals, reacting to the demand solved the 'problem' of how to participate in online ordering growth by using one or more third party ordering networks who would take orders for multiple local restaurants online under similar looking user interfaces, charging a percentage for taking the order plus (credit) processing and forwarding the order by email to the local. Locals used their own people to deliver, and by every measure, they still do - to save money, retain customers, control quality and to increase sales.

However, locals then had to wait, sometimes weeks, for their money and slowly lose control of their own online identity to the large networks. Plus, costs went up. One local example I personally serviced went from spending $150 monthly for $4K in sales, ended up with a service fee of close to $400 month to GrubHub (now EatStreet). If he had used a SAAS for online, his costs would have been under $120 month. Is Instacart more important to your customer than it should be?

For many, pizza and groceries are one of the few engagements that happen more than once weekly.

We know that the issues of online ordering and delivery are better optimized by improvements that are low cost, attract the 'best' demographic and are easily implemented. Obviously, businesses shouldn't increase liability or costs unless the return is attractive and the risks are minimized. But remember that third party assistance from online ordering networks, order pickers, deliverers and the associated risk of exposing your customers to third party personalities that are independent from your branding represent short and long term risks. Restaurants have experienced this with Uber drivers, Grubhub, EatStreet and more.

When you think of the value of a customer to your store, the highest value has to go to the customer that spends the most with you the most often, and then your focus is on increasing those two statistics. We focus on helping our clients lower the customer retention and acquisition cost and raise the sales with the customer's investment in both of in groceries, us in storage. Since the receiving refrigeration appliance is purchased, maintained and owned by the customer, it's their responsibility and in return for their assumption of that risk they get benefits unique to their investment and also, the grocers' risk of liability and loss is eliminated after the groceries are delivered, even if the customer is not at home. In short, the customer has a 'fall back' position of a way to receive groceries which helps the store delivery more cost effectively.

The calculations prove that a refrigerated receiving appliance alleviates the major stumbling block of the "2 hour wait" which also means deliveries can be stacked to all customers with the PorchBoxDrop at a lower cost, with employees, as with restaurants. New technologies will arise, but PorchBoxDrop uses tried and true resources today. Ask yourself, If you purchased a $400 grocery delivery appliance, will you want to use it more often than not? It's not expensive like a nice refrigerator, but it's less expensive than the loss of a couple orders to spoilage, because once groceries transfer into it, the customer 'owns' them. At 1.5 (avg) grocery orders per week), with an average range of $94 - $150 per order, according to industry statistics (Dec 2018), let's just say $100...1.5x weekly, multiplied by 52 weeks is $7,800 a customer could easily spend yearly, which less than 1/20th of the cost.

PorchBoxDrop, allows grocers to have anyone deliver at any time and, as long as they can put fresh groceries in a refrigerator, frozen food in a freezer and work a pad lock, and as long as the order is complete and delivered carefully, training is simple and there is little or no third party branding or delivery 'personality' engagement between store and customer. Further, because picking and delivery would no longer require fast delivery during limited windows of time, multiple orders could be delivered by one delivery vehicle with a freezer/refrig unit, reducing dependence on third party delivery services.

Some more reasons to consider affiliating with PorchBoxDrop -

There is NO cost to grocers or any product sellers or deliverers and, in fact, we provide a 5% commission on a sale of the freezer/refrigerator and storage unit(s) which can cost in excess of $400. The refrigeration/freezer has a plug, can be placed outside of the home and, the suggested configuration strongly suggests the customer also purchase a deck box to conceal and protect the cooling unit. The unit(s) come with a re-settable (by the customer) Master combination lock but we have an option of a wi-fi lock controlled by a mobile app. More customization is coming and not listed here.

The best online grocery customers will need appliances that hold groceries at some point, as online ordering becomes more main-streamed, and our better-automated-refrigerated-secure-safe solution referred by your store is not just an "appliance service" but the third leg of a an absolutely necessary, successful, three-legged online ordering delivery program. PorchBoxDrop serves as a safe and secure extension of not only the customer's refrigerator but the store's.

A delivery appliance or receptacle enables the customer to receive other products and deliveries, helping to save additional dollars from porch piracy and weather. Truth is, delivery appliances and receptacles, like the milk box of former generations, is an absolute necessity in a time of Amazon and loss of local retail shopping and even if you don't provide online ordering, PorchBoxDrop is a solution that will enable called in orders to be delivered economically, conveniently and safely.