When it comes to grocery shopping, American consumers have more options than ever before regarding how they acquire their food supplies.
In a current business opinion article on the Bloomberg website, the author, Sarah Halzack explains why she thinks that Walmart is more popular than Amazon in the click-and-collect segment of grocery shopping.
An increasing number of retailers are now providing consumers with the option of ordering groceries online, then picking them up at a time that is convenient. Known as click-and-collect, or curbside pickup, this method is often available as an alternative to home delivery.
Ms. Halzack makes the point that Amazon certainly does excel in some aspects of online shopping, such as offering very fast delivery. As far as the combination of online and brick and mortar shopping is concerned, however, the company may not have acted quickly enough to establish its presence.
For traditional retailers, the whole concept of curbside pickup works quite well. According to a report from Cowen and Co., approximately 14 percent of U.S. shoppers have now tried these services.
The Cowen and Co. report estimates that by 2020 the curbside pickup segment of the U.S. grocery business will generate more than $35 billion.
In Ms. Halzack’s opinion, the window of opportunity for Amazon to develop a click-and-collect business that can successfully compete with existing services is closing. The author does bring up the idea, though, that Amazon could be working faster at making the service available at more of its Whole Foods retail stores.
Currently, curbside grocery pickup is available at Whole Foods Market stores in more than 20 cities. Amazon also maintains two pickup centers named Amazon Fresh Pickup in Seattle, where customers can pick up grocery orders that they made online.
A valid closing observation that Sarah Halzack makes in her opinion article is that because of Amazon’s huge share of the retail market, it may not concern the company greatly if its share of the curbside pickup market is lagging behind other retailers.