One of the big stories from last week is that Walmart.com is testing Walmart To Go, enabling consumers in its San Jose, CA test market to buy groceries online. While Wal-Mart has offered a similar service in the past, this is the first time they’re giving consumers the option of buying fresh foods (produce and meat, for example) with their pre-packaged goods.
Wal-Mart’s news comes on the heels of a major expansion from online grocery giant Peapod.com, and just a couple of months after Meijer, a Midwest retail chain, announced its plans to sell about 5,000 non-perishable products through their site.
Grocery shopping has long been a necessary evil for many –- one of those chores that comes with long lines, crowded aisles and very little in the way of convenience. Based on all of this recent news, this year could be the year that sees online grocery shopping break out in a big way. (Trader Joe’s, I hope you’re listening.)
What remains to be seen is how some of the mainstays of brick-and-mortar food shopping translates to eCommerce. For instance, will grocers find a way to accept coupons from the Sunday paper? Will they be able to double coupons? How will they prevent coupon fraud if manufacturers’ coupons aren’t collected?