With the threat of COVID-19 keeping many people from venturing out of their homes for work or social engagements, delivery and pick up options at grocery stores have never been more popular. In fact, grocery delivery apps experienced record downloads on Sunday, March 15 – over 38,500 downloads in a single day for Instacart alone. Now that we’re social distancing ourselves, the inherently convenient grocery services championed by millennials are now piquing the curiosity of many more shoppers in our community, creating delays, crashing apps, and possibly changing the way we shop for food forever.
Millennial parents are already well versed in the convenience of grocery pickup services. With some stores offering special discounts and incentives to entice shoppers to embrace pickup, it didn’t take long for these services to catch on. Walmart, Whole Foods, Target, and Kroger all offer some form of pickup service for shoppers. Simply download their apps or visit their websites to build your cart, keep track of the order total, and even use coupons.
At one time, many grocery delivery services in the area could offer delivery windows as soon as an hour from when the order was placed. With the recent surge in demand, many such services are scheduling out several days in advance. Shopping services such as Instacart and Shipt charge a delivery fee for each order while Whole Foods’ delivery is a part of Amazon Prime Now, which shoppers will need to have a monthly or annual membership to use.
COVID-19’s Effect on Grocery Delivery and Pickup
Adding to the strain on delivery and pickup services at grocery stores is the increased cleaning and sanitizing procedures many grocers have put in place to help curb the spread of the virus. Many stores are opting to adjust their hours to allow a longer window of time for employees to clean while some (such as Whole Foods and Target) are adding times when only vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, may shop in person. Be sure to check for changes in hours before placing your order or planning a shopping trip.
Unless you’ve been avoiding social media recently, you probably know about the increased demand for certain products (like toilet paper) and the frequency local retailers are selling out of some of the most vital items. This has led several grocers to place limits on certain products to ensure more shoppers have the chance to get what they need.
While reduced hours, limited inventory, and delays in delivery and pickup services may seem daunting, consumers in the Dayton community are giving a chance to a new way of shopping for groceries. Socially distancing ourselves will help to limit the spread of coronavirus and possibly change shopping preferences for shoppers long after the threat of COVID-19 has passed.