In 2019, the global online grocery market size was valued at $189.81 billion dollars, with a projected compound annual growth rate of 24.8% from 2020 to 2027. Of course, these numbers were right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, dramatically changing the grocery industry. Online grocery shopping and home delivery became a necessity for many people who were quarantining and isolating. As the pandemic continues to evolve, online grocery shopping and delivery has become a service that people expect from their grocery supplier.
But how can locally owned cultural grocery stores achieve this? Is it actually profitable for local ethnic grocers? Where should you start if you own a mom and pop ethnic grocery store in Chicago who wants to sell their groceries online? Don’t worry. We’ve got the answers and are here to help.
How Can I Sell My Groceries Online?
There are three main obstacles to overcome when selling groceries online:
- Creating or adopting an online grocery selling platform so that customers can shop for your groceries.
- Figuring out the workflow for fulfilling the orders that come in.
- Creating a delivery or shipping process so that groceries can arrive in a timely manner, without spoilage.
These are fairly significant logistical problems that need to be solved. But don’t worry! If you’re wondering how to start an online grocery delivery business and are concerned that it’s too complicated, OjaExpress can help (more on this in a moment). In fact, we’re the only online grocery selling app focused on locally owned cultural grocery stores in the Chicago area.
Is Online Grocery Shopping Profitable for Local Ethnic Grocers?
If you search online, you’ll find many statistics about online grocery shopping and how retailers are struggling to make a profit. While there are real reasons why supermarkets are struggling to profit from the online grocery boom, these studies are almost universally looking at large grocery chains and huge corporations. For these big companies, the profit margins don’t make sense when using a third party app, and many of them have the resources to develop their own platform for online grocery ordering and automation for order fulfillment (which leads to profit margins).
However, the online grocery space is different for small, locally owned cultural grocers. In fact, with OjaExpress, most customers that order from our Chicago stores are an average of eight miles out from the store’s primary service area. Our app brings in new customers, while providing these stores another distribution channel for their existing base. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw what happened with restaurants that didn’t have online ordering—those who couldn’t adapt, sadly often closed.
If you want to adapt to an online grocery delivery presence, OjaExpress can help.
Become a Chicago Cultural Grocery Partner With OjaExpress
Here at OjaExpress, our team is built by immigrants, for immigrants. We strive to improve the lives of our vendors and our customers by strengthening our communities and keeping small businesses alive. We work with Chicago-owned grocers to give people easier access to the foods that bring a delicious piece of their culture to their home. We support the overlooked grocers that are indispensable resources for many ethnic communities, helping them take a step into the future of grocery delivery.
We’re on a major mission to build the best grocery delivery app for ethnic grocers in Chicago. Our process is easy:
- Apply online
- Meet with your OjaExpress rep to explain your store’s unique and cultural needs
- Sign a partnership agreement
- Submit inventory data to OjaExpress
- Schedule a photo session for your grocery products
- Go live!
Worried about your profit margin? Onboarding is completely FREE. Plus, every order must meet a minimum of $29.99 to make sure it is worthwhile for your store.
Concerned about filling orders? Our people do all the shopping and delivery, so all you have to do is keep running your Chicago cultural grocery store.
Not sure how to get your products listed? Don’t worry. All we need is an updated inventory file. If you don’t have an inventory list, we have a simple form that you can fill out to categorize your data. Once we have the inventory list with prices, the process is quick to get your groceries online and ready to order. We even take care of all the photos, and, if we don’t have a photo of your product, we send a professional photographer to get images at your store.
Wondering if you’ll need help with this process? We work closely with each of our retail partners to make sure everything is right.
Our team is committed to supporting local mom and pop supermarkets and small groceries, and to providing the local staples, snacks, beverages, meats and more that bring the flavors of your cultural upbringing to life. Apply today to become a partner or contact us with any questions or concerns. We’re looking forward to partnering with you!