Group buying company DealsDirect has just launched an online supermarket site in direct competition with Coles and Woolworths. Supermarketdeals.com.au sells discounted groceries up to 30% off the normal retail price and we are talking main stream brands like Pantene, Colgate, Cadbury and Arnott’s. They ship anywhere in Australia for a flat rate $11. The announcement follows on from Catch of the Day’s $80m new online strategy announced last month.
There is a lot of hype about online buying and the PR companies are working overtime to convince us it is the way of the future. When you remove all the crap what are you left with? Many believe we are still left with an online Road Roller that is slowly but surely changing the face of retailing. Others say it is just what we need to differentiate between impersonal online shopping and the sort of personal service only retailers like QVM traders can offer. It will take time to sort through the road blocks, diversions and speed traps of contemporary retailing.
One thing is for sure – customers are looking for easier ways to shop and, even if they continue to seek out personal service, we need to make the process as convenient as possible. That means an online presence to enable pre-buying, offering the best possible customer service when they reach our stalls, and offering a high level of after sales care including the possibility of home delivery. If we can offer convenience plus personal service we will be stronger retailers.