‘Evolution or revolution’ – the growth in home deliveries

Home delivery

New research has found that consumers value free delivery above all else when it comes to home deliveries of groceries and supplies from their local convenience store.

Over two-thirds (71%) of consumers surveyed said this topped their list of home delivery ‘wants’ followed by 38% saying they would like to see no minimum spend. One half of responders said they felt there would be value in convenience stores ‘teaming up’ with local pubs and restaurants with over one third suggesting that they would be more likely to get a home delivery from their local convenience store if the retailer hooked up with delivery brands such as Uber Eats or Deliveroo. In particular, Generation Z and Millennials find these delivery brands appealing, with two-thirds saying a link up would make convenience delivery more attractive to them.

The report, ‘Forging a New Future’, was commissioned by digital and data experts TWC  contains four chapters designed to help retailers and brands prepare for the ‘new normal’ as the UK exits lockdown. ‘Evolution or Revolution – the Growth in Home Deliveries’ forms the second chapter.

As to what would influence a customer and appeal to them in using home delivery services, ‘ease of use’ will be absolutely critical if convenience stores want to grow their delivery customer base with 72% of responders citing this as the main reason that they would turn to home delivery.

Point of difference

Speaking on behalf of TWC, Tom Fender commented: “This is an important factor for retailers to consider alongside HOW an individual would prefer to order, which in today’s tech-era, is a highly personalised choice. Our research shows that at the moment 84% of customers prefer to order online or via an app and 14% via direct telephone. With many c-stores traditionally attracting an older customer base, offering an option to order via telephone can be a nice point of difference right now.

“Don’t let’s forget that all the predictions are for the use of smart technology to increase so this needs to be factored into retailers’ thinking for the future.

“And, retailers should be thinking broader than just how can I get my products to people’s houses. They should be thinking about how they can make each shopping occasion easier for customers. If ‘ease of use’ is absolutely key, then retailers should also think of ease of decision making – offering shoppers solutions to problems like ‘what’s for dinner’ and ‘I need food for a BBQ’. Perhaps bundle up products they already offer.

“There’s also the opportunity to either provide ‘eat in’ options, if the convenience store has a kitchen, or tie up with a local pub or restaurant who doesn’t currently offer delivery.”

Direct to consumer

As wholesalers with their customer base in the foodservice/hospitality market turn to ‘direct to consumer’ models, ‘Forging a New Future’ also explored whether there is a future for this service to continue with nearly half of responders saying they had either used them, or would consider using this model, in the future.

Home delivery services have in general seen a meteoric rise over the past three months with 82% of people saying they will continue to use these services after lockdown has lifted.

Fender concluded: “Clearly the coronavirus has changed consumer behaviours and rapidly accelerated the use of home deliveries, which is turn will impact on the use of technology and the way people order their goods. Those business that are data and digitally savvy will inevitably get ahead in the months to come as they look to make ordering even easier, as consumers continue to buy remotely and act with caution across their changing lifestyles”.

Download ‘Evolution or Revolution, The Growth in Home Deliveries’ and register to receive a copy of the full report, which will be published on 9 June.