After the initial surge triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, online grocery usage remains elevated in the United States. Max Pedro, co-founder and CEO of micro-fulfillment specialist Takeoff Technologies, aims to help grocery retailers not only handle that high demand but also improve their profit equation.
Marketing firm Acosta reports that nearly 70% of consumers now shop for groceries online at least some of the time, compared with about 40% at the start of both 2021 and 2020. What’s more, an analysis by Brick Meets Click reveals that supermarkets’ established online grocery users — that is, those who have shopped online with a grocer for over 60 weeks — generate 3.5 times more revenue than new digital shoppers. Those are customers worth keeping happy.
Micro-fulfillment has gained traction among grocery retailers of all sizes as a way to support rising e-grocery transactions. The scalable, automated solution is seen as an effective option to process more orders faster, provide more capacity for core products and reduce the cost-to-serve — as well as deploy quickly and at less expense.
Waltham, Mass.-based Takeoff has engaged in projects for micro-fulfillment centers, or MFCs, with U.S. grocery retailers such as Albertsons Cos., Ahold Delhaize USA, Sedano’s Supermarkets and Big Y Foods, as well as grocery retail/wholesale cooperatives Wakefern Food Corp. and Associated Wholesale Grocers.
“Right now, we have 22 live MFCs. It’s really exciting, the results that our clients are getting out of these investments,” Pedro said in an interview with Supermarket News. “We are proud to say that we believe we’re the only MFC company allowing these retailer to get that return on their investment. We founded this company with one dream: Make supermarkets that want to sell their groceries online profitable.”