Delivering the Death of Supermarkets

Photo courtesy of flickr user Masahiro Ihara

Delivering the Death of Supermarkets

by Rebecca Chodorkoff | The Dish | Aug 6, 2017

Will the produce aisle soon be obsolete?

It’s easy to imagine online shopping replacing grocery stores. With technological advances and a public that expects immediacy and convenience, old fashioned supermarkets might soon become a relic.

Amazon has revolutionized shopping. Meal delivery services like Blue Apron and Fresh Direct take the guesswork and legwork out of buying food. If you don’t want to shop, cook or recipe plan you don’t have to.

People seem to like thinking millennials are lazy. But it’s more accurate to say that they’re efficient; they don’t work hard if it’s not necessary. Online food services are a great example—by expending little energy, you get big rewards.

“We are the generation of instant gratification. If you look at what Amazon is trying to achieve overall, it’s to fulfill that need,” says online grocery platform Selfpoint CEO Mayer Gniwisch. “Every new idea of Amazon’s is pushing the goal line closer to instant gratification.”

A recent study found that people are happier when they can pay others to do pesky chores. This saves time and produces immediate results.

Blue Apron, Uber and Amazon Prime make customers happier. And why shouldn’t we all pursue happiness?

Bryan Eisenberg, author of Be Like Amazon: Even A Lemonade Stand Can Do It says that these delivery services cater to the desires of modern customers. “Today’s consumer wants a great selection, a fair price, instant delivery and an awesome experience.”

Amazon’s recent purchase of Whole Foods could result in the rapid expansion of online grocery shopping: complete with all of the ingredients Eisenberg says make up a successful consumer experience.

“Where I think Amazon will have a significant advantage in changing the shopping model for grocery is in all the pre-packaged and cooked foods that are made in Whole Foods,” Says Eisenberg.

Grocery stores need to innovate to hold onto their customer base.

Grocery stores have advantages. Some people want to buy food locally, to browse options and speak with somebody who can offer them help. This type of interaction is impossible online.

But online grocers are adapting. Gniwisch says Selfpoint has a chat feature; “If you are shopping for meat, you can chat with the butcher in the store to see what’s on special, what to do with the cut you are buying, just as you would when you are in the store.”

It seems unlikely that online grocery shopping will kill supermarkets anytime soon. But Eisenberg can imagine a future where smart homes order groceries for us—anticipating our needs and ordering goods before we know we want them.

Until then, savor your trips to Whole Foods. Online shopping doesn’t have free samples.


11/17/17 // Ep 32 // Louis CK / ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’

Kate Willett and Matt Ruby on Louis CK’s fall from grace. Charles Hinshaw on ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.’ Molly Knefel on the linger effects of the infamous ‘Access Hollywood’ tape; Sneak preview of Jane Weaver’s BTR Live Studio session. | listen

11/15/17 // Blake Shelton: Most Adequate Man Alive

The internet was confused over the choice, given that Shelton has neither the physique nor the face for the level of panty-dropping one would expect from the world’s sexiest man. | read

11/10/17 // Terra Lightfoot

 Terra Lightfoot is a Canadian roots/rock musician with the kind of powerful, bluesy voice that knocks you off your feet. | listen

11/15/17 // The Last Think Tank on the Left

People's Policy Project aims to make a progressive splash in the think tank world. | read

11/13/17 // Avocaderia

Chelsea White visits Avocaderia, the world's first avocado bar, located inside Industry City Food Hall in Brooklyn, New York. Co-owner Francesco Brachetti talks about the inspiration behind Avocaderia… | watch

11/14/17 // “Kim” by Joy Again

Hailing from the rich cultural breeding ground of Philadelphia, Joy Again is a quintet right at that vital point in their career between just starting out and truly figuring out their sound - in this… | watch