Online grocery retail: substitute products frustrate consumers

However, experts warn that consumers are becoming increasingly impatient with mistakes made when ordering groceries online.

They believe that businesses that don’t make improvements could lose sales, even with supply chain issues or a new wave of COVID-19.

Grocery stores only

Frank, product manager of Orckestra’s online platform kuretasexplains that the customer experience when shopping online depends on how you complete the order.

He explains that new customers could avoid shopping online again if a retailer makes a mistake, while old online shoppers could switch stores.

Customers receive completely different products than ordered, while others receive 10 kilos of bananas instead of 10, for example.

Photo: Reuters / Regis Duvignau

Substitutions are grocery store specificsays Mr. kuretas. AirForce1 [de Nike] par des Adidas. Ils les ont en stock ou ils ne les ont pas.”,”text”:”Les Sports Experts ne remplaceront pas des souliers AirForce1 [de Nike] par des Adidas. Ils les ont en stock ou ils ne les ont pas.”}}”>Sports Experts do not replace shoes Air Force 1st [de Nike] by adidas. Either they have it in stock or they don’t.

Absurd and frustrating substitutions

Stories of replacing online grocery stores have almost attained the status of legends. Some examples? Customers got ground beef instead of tofu, candles instead of lightbulbs, flour instead of gluten-free baking mix, fresh oregano instead of fresh coriander.

Other errors relate to quantities, for example 10 kilograms of bananas instead of 10 bananas.

Anjali Rego, a customer, doesn’t mind some online grocery substitutions. Replace regular tomatoes with cherry tomatoes? No problem.

But other changes irritate him, such as switching from regular meat to plant-based substitutes. For them, that’s out of the question!

I don’t mind if you give me a different type of tomato, but don’t make any mistakes with my meatsays this resident of Mississauga, in Ontario.

%, ne me donnez pas du 2%”,”text”:”Et si je commande du lait 1%, ne me donnez pas du 2%”}}”>And if I order 1% milk don’t give me 2%she explains in the interview.

A man sits on the bottom shelf of a grocery display and struggles to grab an item from the top shelf.Enlarge image (New window)

Some customers aren’t thrilled with the items they receive if the grocery store can’t find what they’re asking for.

Photo: The Canadian Press/Chris Young

For his part, the Executive Vice President of Walmart Global Tech, Srini VenkatesanNote that The decision of how to replace is complex and very personal for each customer in a blog post.

Take, for example, a store that is out of cherry yogurt. Choosing a different type of yogurt such as strawberry or blueberry, or opting for the same brand or a different brand is not an easy decision and can vary from customer to customer.

There are nearly a hundred different factors that can go into this decision.‘ emphasized Mr. Venkatesan in his blog. A wrong choice can affect customer satisfaction and increase costs.

Most stores allow customers to choose whether to allow substitutions, but this is not usually the default.

Stores will refund an item if a customer is unhappy with a replacement, but refund requests are cumbersome for customers and stores can lose potential sales, making it a lose-lose solution.

This has prompted some retailers to turn to technology and artificial intelligence to help personal shoppers, sometimes called packers or order pickers, make the right choice for their customers.

According to Frank kuretasTechnology can help solve the problem of online grocery order substitution, but staff training is essential.

Trained employees who know the business, know the products and know how to substitute products will improve resultshe admitted.

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