SMITHFIELD – In Cache Valley, there are a growing number of customers taking a look at grocery stores offering an online shopping option. Not only is interest growing, but technology will give grocers an Amazon, UPS or Federal Express-like delivery to the front door.
Most area grocers are making it easier for seniors and mothers with small children to have a better shopping experience. Items can be ordered from an app on a phone and have them ready for curbside pickup, or in some cases, delivered.
Lees, Walmart, Macey’s and Smiths all use phone apps and offer online shopping options.
Jordan Falslev, the e-commerce coordinator for Lees, said it has really been good for the five-store grocery chain. He said they are trying to add a couple more stores in the state that will also offer the option.
“We were the first store in Utah to offer online shopping,” he said. “Since that time, everyone else has gotten onboard.”
Falslev started in 2010 as a bagger and worked his way to the e-commerce coordinator in 2015. He is high on the online shopping concept.
“I’ve seen lots of growth in online shopping,” he said. “We use a third party app for our online shopping, or they can access the store through the Lee’s website. Customers can also access our weekly ads, especially for those who look at the ad. It is easy to place an order.“
Falslev said Cache Valley does really well, as do their other three locations in Salt Lake City, North Ogden and Heber City.
“Our Smithfield store has six people each that do about 100 orders a week,” Falslev said “That number grows every week.”
Customers can pick their groceries up or have them delivered to their door step for a fee. There are other stores that do the online pickup, but as far as Falslev knew, Lee’s is the only one that has a delivery service.
The Smithfield location does the most volume of any of the Lee’s stores. The online shopping is just an alternative way the get their groceries, Falslev said.
Rashelle Reid, from the Smithfield Lee’s, handles online shopping orders as well as driving the delivery van to make afternoon deliveries.
One benefit of having store employees like Reid do the shopping, is they know how to shop. She looks for the freshest produce and the expiration dates on the dairy items when she does the shopping.
She uses a laptop computer set in the child’s seat to check off the shopping list as she fills her grocery cart with items on the her e-list. Reid said Lee’s delivers groceries as far north as Franklin, Idaho.
“Online shopping is great for seniors and mothers with small children,“ Reid said. “Some seniors are using the online store. They are getting more and more ‘techy’ all the time.”
On Tuesday, customers can call in orders, which is good for people that don’t have or know how to use a computer. They can pick up their bags at the store the following day.
Kroger, Smith’s parent company, has teamed up with Ocado and plans to build 20 robot warehouses or sheds throughout the U.S. The sheds are automated customer fulfilment centers, said Forbes Magazine.
One of the Ocado warehouses located in Andover, U.K. had robots that processed 65,000 orders per week. Groceries are delivered to the customers’ front door, using Ocado trucks.
Supermarket news announced they opened the largest stand-alone Walmart Pick up Point, in Lincolnwood, Ill. The store fills online orders of not only groceries, but all of their products. They also offer a delivery service.
There are 2,450 Walmart’s stores offering the online shopping option.The mega retailer plans to spend $87.5 million on the launch and expansion of new store remodels in the state of Arkansas,where it operates 186 stores.
Shopping from home for your groceries, may be convenient and save time, but often customers might even be able take advantage of online specials that may not be advertised anywhere else.