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As Major Grocery Retailers Continue to Invest Online, How Can Independents Compete?

Between 2013 and 2018, online sales of groceries have more than tripled, according to a 2018 report from Packaged Facts. The study predicts that as online options become more available and consumers become more comfortable buying there, online grocery sales will more than quadruple.

The challenge for independent stores is in understanding how to keep up with the large regional and national chains. These companies have millions to spend and often have partnerships with national platforms such as Instacart, who cater to them.

So, how can independents compete?  The easiest way is to partner with an e-commerce partner focused on independents. They can help you streamline the set-up processes and save thousands of dollars in upfront costs, time and manpower. A task that might take many months, and tens of thousands of dollars to build, can be completed in a matter of weeks, at a fraction of the cost.

The storefront is only part of the battle, though. You’ll also want to ensure that you can manage your delivery services, drive new business to your store and provide service and support to your customers.


Remember that the footprint of your online store is likely to be much larger than your physical location.  Many orders will come from 5-10, even 15 miles away. The services should manage deliveries within this range with no effort or additional staffing needed.


For marketing, the best partner will be one that does it all on your behalf.  After all, they are incented to grow your sales as much as possible as their revenue model is usually a small percentage of revenue.  They should aggressively promote your store on Google, Facebook and other websites as well as looking to leverage your current, and new, customer base through email promotions.


There are a lot of moving parts at play with ecommerce and you’ll need to provide service and support to ensure that your customers have a great experience from end to end.  A great partner will handle this for you, managing the delivery drivers, speaking with customers, handling any payments issues and ensuring that everything goes smoothly.

Mercato caters to independents with technology that is customizable and fully integrates with your business and STCR POS system.  We work with you as if we were your own staff, showing you the respect and attention that you deserve. As the son of a grocer in Brooklyn, New York, Mercato’s founder and CEO, Bobby Brannigan, grew up working in the store and understands how customer service and quality are at the heart of a successful independents’ business. The Mercato team embodies that same attention to customer care as a result. Each order, delivery, payment, even refund, is professionally handled so you can focus on the in-store experience.

We would love to share our experience with you and help you grow your business.  Visit us at https://www.mercato.com/merchant


Reprinted from: Mercato - https://www.mercato.com

"In a multi-store operation it is important to have control from a central point. STCR provides the systems and technical expertise to do just that."