A Dawn of a new age of milk purchase

When was the last time you really enjoyed going to the mall and going shopping, now I am not talking about the amazing sensation of splurging on oneself and buying that really cute top; but more in the sense of repetitive, everyday grocery shopping. So, was there ever a time you were happy to be driving, to get the standard milk, bread and cereal? Most people would agree that the experience is often tiring and mundane; truth is more often than not, you end up leaving with more than you planned, as there was nothing better to do than browse the aisles for something exciting and new.

One experience I recently had changed all of this. Not only was it fast and easy but I could shop for groceries while watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead and simultaneously being in my cow print pyjamas, without being judged. The ingenious concept by Woolworths, known as “click and collect” was implemented by 254 stores including their latest branch which was conveniently minutes away from my house.

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Members of my neighbourhood were encouraged to try the new service free of charge, as the company was conducting further testing and required participants. My family was one of the first to try out the new service and we found it exhilarating. Now you’re thinking why order online when you live so close; well there is a certain freedom that comes with being in control of your shopping, not to mention being able to order your Nutella at the touch of a button.

While older neighbours told me they found the process unnecessary, as the current system for grocery shopping had been an ancient practise; I found it interesting that those same neighbours welcomed online banking and online shopping for other items. The move towards digitizing our shopping experience has shown great success in other areas of retail such as Amazon, Etsy and online clothing stores; so I didn’t find the idea that ludicrous. There must be others out there that had the same experience I did as Woolworth’s Online Head of Business Development; Elise Barber explained that respondents were happy with the “level of convenience, efficiency and inordinate amount of time saved”.

Now all you check out chicks don’t freak out your jobs won’t disappear tomorrow, as only 4% of customers have utilised the service, not to mention that if you need milk for breakfast, the 24 hour wait for purchases to be processed; might not work with your immediate needs and will put a dampener on your coco puff brekkie dreams. One interesting thing that I wonder is if the service will implement a sort of shopping list function where you can store your daily and even monthly shopping lists that customers can retrieve and submit, to save even more time.

Just a few more interesting observations about the service:

  • Easier to buy more things, just click, than to walk around the whole store looking for them
  • Not as much control on the quality of goods, eg ripeness of fruit or freshest bread ect.
  • Lack of privacy as data is freely shared
  • Some people see grocery shopping as a social outing or event/ reason to get out of the house, thus the online service will never compete and cannot replace their offline experience and needs
  • Online you aren’t as bombarded with the marketing and sales promotion that is evident in the shelves = shelve marketing

With Kogan.com and Coles now entering the marketplace how will Woolworths ensure that they stay on top of this market segment; these questions and more to be answered on this blog. So click the follow button, and enjoy, you can even do it in your PJ’s.

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