According to Pew Research, 77% of Americans now own a smartphone compared to 35% in 2011. As such, online shopping has skyrocketed. However, it’s not just tech gadgets and clothing that folks are buying online, it’s groceries too.

In fact, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) estimates that 70% of U.S. consumers will be grocery shopping online by 2024. This will amount to an estimated $100 billion in sales. That’s the equivalent of every U.S. household spending $850 online for food and beverages annually.

Moreover, FMI and Nielsen report that online grocery spending is projected to make up 20% of the total U.S. food and beverage market share by 2025. “Grocery shopping will reach digital maturity and saturation faster than other industries that went online before, such as publishing or banking,” said the report. “Younger, newer and more engaged digital shoppers adopt digital technologies more quickly, and will hasten the expansion of digital grocery shopping further.”

With all that said, the time is now for grocery retailers to embrace technology to elevate the customer and in-store experience. To do so, grocery retailers should focus on combining the offline and online experiences through a comprehensive omnichannel strategy.

One option that mixes the online and offline experience is click & collect. In this model, a shopper places an order online and an associate collects and stores the perishable items until the client comes to retrieve their order. However, there are some concerns with this current model. First, although the orders are filled quickly, customers don’t always show up as anticipated to pick them up. Second, both online and in-store shoppers could all arrive at the same time during peak hours, leading to in-store congestion and longer wait times. Grocers are looking for solutions that save valuable time for grocery associates, enhance the customer experience and securely refrigerate perishable items.

To solve this challenge of click & collect, Parcel Pending designed electronic refrigerated lockers that preserve refrigerated deliveries until they are ready to be picked up. Customers can rest assured that their products are fresh, and associates can focus on other in-store responsibilities and taking care of in-store customers. Our lockers are the perfect solution for retailers that sell temperature-sensitive items like dairy, flowers, pharmaceuticals, meal kits and more.

With buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) becoming widely adopted by consumers, our refrigerated lockers make these in-store pickups quick, convenient and easy. Once an order is fulfilled, the items can be placed in one of our lockers and customers can pick it up at their convenience without the concern of it perishing.

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How can smart refrigerated lockers help you up your grocery retail game? Comment below.