Grocers’ Frequently Asked Questions About E-Commerce


By Mendel Gniwisch, VP, Business Development


We want to start offering online and mobile shopping, but can we test it first? Maybe something manageable like the deli; or start with offering platters online?”


That’s a request we’ve heard many times from specialty retailers and grocers who are just dipping their toes into e-commerce.


We Understand Grocers

We understand that your teams are already overloaded keeping up with day-to-day deadlines, customer service, inventory, promotions management and more. We recognize you’ve made investments in your current IT infrastructure. Even if your systems can benefit from upgrades and improvements, your teams have been trained to use them. Any change will disrupt your current processes and might cost money.


But what will it cost if changes aren’t made to meet consumers’ demands for a convenient and more personalized customer experience?


E-Commerce: Opt-In or Be Overlooked

Another typical question from grocers, “Is everyone really shopping online? My customers are special. They make time for grocery shopping and think it’s important to come in the store to see the specials and choose their own produce.”


The answer is that those customers are most likely to be the traditional shoppers and may skew older.


A new report released January 2018 from Acosta profiles the five generations of grocery shoppers:


  • Generation Z (ages 12-21) and Millennials (ages 22-36) made the most grocery shopping trips each month compared to older shoppers, with Gen Z making 4.5 routine grocery trips a month.

  • Gen Z is a digital native and has never known life without the internet. 42 percent of Gen Z shoppers said they use a digital grocery list. 

  • Sixty percent of Millennial shoppers use mobile apps for grocery coupons or discounts, significantly higher than any other generation. 

  • Generation X (ages 37-52) shoppers spend the most on groceries, averaging $380 a month.

  • Seventy percent of Gen X shoppers redeemed a digital or mobile grocery coupon within the past month. 

  • Baby Boomers (ages 53-71) spend an average of $314 each month on groceries

  • These shoppers are loyal — 93 percent of Boomers reported shopping most often at the same grocery retailer as last year.

  • The Silent Generation (ages 71+) reported spending an average of $287 monthly on groceries, which is the highest household grocery spending per person across all of the generations.


The reality is that online grocery is growing 20 percent annually.


With Amazon buying Whole Foods, Target buying Shipt for same day delivery, and Walmart focusing on grocery e-commerce, the online giants are taking market share nationally, regionally and locally.


Grocers can increase share of mind and wallet by accommodating the consumers’ love of their smart phones and tablets. They keep their mobile devices within arm’s reach nearly every minute of the day. The quick search functions on smart devices extend naturally to impulse buying and creation of shopping lists that can lead to increased revenue for food retailers.


Investing in E-Commerce

Another question we hear regularly, “Do I have to upgrade my current systems and IT infrastructure? Won’t that require a lot of money and resources to make the transition to digital commerce?”


Offering mobile and online shopping requires an integration of grocers’ current IT infrastructure and processes. Self Point’s technology was designed to work alongside retailers’ point of sale (POS) systems, business processes and reporting infrastructure.


In the majority of cases, Self Point can integrate with grocers’ POS systems without the need for upgrading their infrastructure.


The software speeds and simplifies implementation by building product catalogs and store maps directly from online and in-store transactions – with full implementation in weeks, rather than months.


Time and the Trusted Partner

We’ve heard grocers ask, “Don’t these projects take months to finish? We just don’t want to invest that amount of time.”


It’s important for you to work with a partner that has experience in successfully implementing mobile-first online stores for retailers. A full-service implementation program is key—especially one that backs up your team with solid training and additional resources to support online order fulfillment.


We simplify in-store logistics and fulfillment with:

  • World-class mobile picking app

  • Monitor and improve fulfillment process with automated reporting

  • Store mapping with algorithms, ensuring the items are picked in the correct order. (frozen and cold items last. Heavy items on bottom…) for organized picking and shopping orders

  • Competitive insights by category and UPC, product penetration and basket analysis


Self Point offers the best tools to take online and mobile orders, get products packed and shipped out of store, while saving grocers’ manpower.


Do you have other questions about transitioning to mobile and online shopping? Let us know in the comments below. Get answers immediately by calling (888) 300-9298 or email