Traditional grocery retailers’ e-commerce and omnichannel capabilities are limited, according to L2’s Big Box Insight Report: Shipping and Fulfillment. Other than Safeway and Royal Ahold – who acquired e-commerce-only players Groceryworks and Peapod in 2000 and 2001 respectively – brick-and-mortar grocery retailers have limited or no e-commerce offerings. Whole Foods, Kroger and H-E-B only allow e-commerce for catering and large orders. Albertsons customers can order cakes and deli platters online, but need to pay in-store. In sum, 40% of grocery brands have no e-commerce capabilities.
Online fulfillment is no better. Safeway and Stop & Shop are the only brands that offer same-day delivery, and only Walmart lets user shop for groceries online and pick up at the store.
Online-only players are filling the gap, especially in large cities. Fresh Direct, Peapod, and Instacart offer online grocery shopping to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC area, and Chicago. Walmart is also showing promise to disrupt the grocery market with drive-through pickup for online orders in 11 stores in Denver, Colorado.