Online Groceries — You Might Be Surprised

by Patricia Hewitt 0

Every time I mention online groceries, eyesroll and executives start checking email. Sure, right, tried that,been there, but…a recent study indicated that 16 percent ofconsumers have made a purchase through their TV (something I wrote about last year), asdiscussed in this Mobile Commerce Daily article.And, as television viewing migrates from cable TV sets to all sortsof untethered Internet devices, those statistics will continue toclimb.

The fact is that consumers are getting more and more comfortablepurchasing just about anything online and that includes groceries.Now, this doesn’t mean we won’t run to the store to pick up eggsand milk and produce, but consider how much of the groceries we buyare non-perishable – including cleaning products and paper goods.This got me thinking about online groceries and I began to lookinto exactly how do work. What I found was a little company inVermont called MyWebGrocer (MWG). If youclick on the link we’ve provided here, you’ll find a list of 110grocery stores around the country that use their applicationsincluding Albertson’s, Kroger, Piggly Wiggly, Fred Meyer, andShopRite.

As we know, supermarket transactions are a core debit transactioncategory, but if consumers’ aren’t comfortable using their debitcard online, how will they pay for their online groceries? I’m notsuggesting that supermarket transaction activity is going to beupended (right now), however, this is another indicator of the needfor financial institutions to address the fact that consumers’worry about protecting their everyday money in a card-not-presentenvironment. The opportunity for debit card issuers is to begin tomore actively promote the use of their cards in an onlineenvironment by talking about risk management, offering alertingtools to consumers, and creating product sets that enable consumersto feel safe about using their money online.