Progressive Grocer Independent

APR 2016

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28 | Progressive Grocer Independent | April 2016 E -commerce. Online shop- ping. Click-and-collect. Tese terms can strike fear into the hearts of some independent grocers. After 100 years of refning the current in-store shopping experience, the market is undergoing the next seismic shift to accommodate the growth of e-commerce. "Consumer trends are changing. Grocers need to evolve and inno- vate. How do they do that?" asks Jon Ambrose, co-founder of Rosie, an e-commerce service provider based in Ithaca, N.Y. "Tey need a really strong digital presence. Tey need to understand how to acquire and retain customers long-term." Most of the large retail chains have already entered the market space. Even some nonfood retailers, like Amazon and Google, are looking to become grocers and deliver right to consumers' doorsteps. Te overall consensus of e-commerce service pro- viders and independent retailers that already ofer such a service is that indies need to get in the game now. For those that remain hesitant, Brian Moyer, CEO of Rochester, N.Y.-based e-commerce service pro- vider Freshop, likes to ask them when the last time was that they took an order over the phone. "Tey've been doing e-commerce — they just don't have a very good system for it," Moyer says. "It's ofered in enough places now that if you don't have it, you're really at a competitive disadvantage." Tech Competition In this new e-commerce sphere, retail- ers aren't competing against other retailers, they're actually compet- ing against the best tech companies, and they need to start thinking like a tech company, according to Brad Moran, founder of e- commerce service provider NoQ Commerce, based in Adelaide, Australia. "Re- tailers need to understand that the opportunity is now, not next year," Moran asserts, "and they can abso- lutely win in this industry and beat the technology companies, but frst-mover advantage is very important." Independents have long been the frst movers in their respective mar- kets. Metcalfe's Markets, in Madison, Wis., has ofered its On Te Go on- line ordering and delivery service for 15 years, although the grocer recently switched its e-commerce technology partner. Te 12-store Sendik's chain was the frst in the Milwaukee area to ofer online ordering. "If you're an indepen- dent retailer, I would get in sooner than later," ad- vises Mark Mahoney, VP and GM of Dash's Mar- ket, which operates four stores in the Bufalo, N.Y., area and was the frst food retailer to ofer online shopping in western New York. "Te reason being, I love the way it looks today, and I think fve years from now, I'm really going to love the way it looks. It gives me the chance to compete against some of the big boxes out there." e-Commerce Technology "Just launching an e-commerce site will not make you successful. Online customer acquisition requires that old habits be broken." — Brad Moran, NoQ Commerce The time has come for e-commerce, and independent retailers need to get on board or get left behind. By Katie Martin Shop Click to

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