Consumers value free delivery above all else when it comes to home deliveries of groceries and supplies from their local convenience stores, new research reveals.

The Forging a New Future report, which was commissioned by digital and data specialist TWC, shows that 71% of consumers surveyed said free delivery topped their list of home delivery ‘wants’ followed by 38% saying they would like to see no minimum spend.

In addition, one half of responders said they felt there would be value in convenience stores ‘teaming up’ with local pubs and restaurants, with more than one third suggesting that they would be more likely to get a home delivery from their local convenience store if the retailer hooked up with delivery brands such as Uber Eats or Deliveroo. In particular, Generation Z and Millennials find these delivery brands appealing, with 2-in-3 saying a link up would make convenience delivery more attractive to them.

The report shows that ease of use will be absolutely critical if convenience stores want to grow their delivery customer base, with 72% of respondents citing this as the main reason that they would turn to home delivery.

Tom Fender, speaking on behalf of TWC, said: “Our research shows that at the moment 84% of customers prefer to order online or via an app and 14% via direct telephone. With many c-stores traditionally attracting an older customer base, offering an option to order via telephone can be a nice point of difference right now.

“Don’t let’s forget that all the predictions are for the use of smart technology to increase so this needs to be factored into retailers’ thinking for the future.”

He added: “Retailers should be thinking broader than just how can I get my products to people’s houses. They should be thinking about how they can make each shopping occasion easier for customers. If ‘ease of use’ is absolutely key then retailers should also think of ease of decision making – offering shoppers solutions to problems like ‘what’s for dinner’ and ‘I need food for a BBQ’. Perhaps bundle up products they already offer.

“There’s also the opportunity to either provide ‘eat in’ options, if the convenience store has a kitchen, or tie-up with a local pub or restaurant who doesn’t currently offer delivery.”

The report also explores whether there is a future in the foodservice/hospitality market turning to ‘direct to consumer’ models, nearly half of respondents said they had either used them, or would consider using this model, in the future.

Home delivery services have in general seen a meteoric rise over the past three months with 82% of people saying they will continue to use these services after lockdown has lifted.

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