5 must-have features for your online grocery app


With the success of the online grocery industry comes an influx of tech startups trying to capitalize on this opportunity. It seems like one of the only constants today is that people need groceries — but how they get them has changed dramatically over the past year and a half. According to Insider Intelligence, online grocery sales grew 54.0% in 2020 to $95.82 billion, which propelled it to 12.0% of total US e-commerce sales and 7.4% of all grocery sales.

Regardless of these new requirements, retailers should be careful when placing tech startups between them and their customers. One alarming trend we’ve seen as these “unicorns” enter the tech world is that desperate retailers are welcoming them into their business.

What they need to know is that these companies are typically bloated with investment dollars, bent on controlling the world, your data, and your customers’ experience, and adopting a “here today, leave tomorrow” mentality. “.

Beware of grocers: Before signing up with the next big grocery e-commerce provider, be sure to consider the implications. Here are five qualities your online grocery app should have.

1. Designed as a Progressive Web App

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are built and enhanced with modern APIs to deliver enhanced capabilities, reliability, and installability while reaching anyone, anywhere, on any device with a single code base. Basically, PWAs are just web applications that can be accessed through a browser or downloaded on a mobile device. Businesses that have installed PWAs have seen impressive results, including increased pages per session, organic traffic, and daily active users, while decreasing bounce rates and dramatically reducing overall app size .

  • Able: Until recently, platform-specific apps could handle much more robust functionality than web apps, but new and upcoming APIs extend what the web can do.
  • Reliable: Overall speed and performance are critical for product adoption. If an app feels slow, unresponsive, or clunky, users will bounce back and maybe never come back.
  • Installable: Installed PWAs run in a standalone window instead of a browser tab. When a user can search for them on a device and switch from browser to app switcher, they feel like they are part of the device they are installed on.

2. Native POS and Inventory

With an e-Commerce solution native to your point of sale, you have full control over many aspects of the customer experience:

  • Automatic real-time article updates: Customers won’t waste time designating override preferences because inventory will be right the first time.
  • Special rates: Create dynamic price lists for special customers based on preferences, group memberships, and more.
  • Price control: You control price changes, service and delivery costs rather than having to deal with what a third party designates.

3. Complies with accessibility standards

Web accessibility ensures that there are no barriers that prevent interactions or access to the website by people with physical disabilities, situational disabilities and socio-economic restrictions on bandwidth and speed. With respect to accessibility compliance, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0 AA is the most widely used standard in the world. There are several levels of conformance within WCAG, and each level includes guidelines that must be met to be accessible to all users. The most notable requirements for acceptable compliance include:

  • Optimal color contrast
  • Using alt text for images
  • Consistent navigation elements
  • Titles used in a logical order

4. Provides an intuitive user experience

With the influx of new users into the online grocery scene, e-commerce vendors have had to design an experience for a wide range of users. To become a long-term user, buyers must find their first experience with the site satisfying; otherwise, they will look elsewhere for a solution that meets their needs.

Grocery apps must adhere to industry best practices to stay competitive when it comes to on-site search, product listings and filtering, account information, and most importantly, payment functionality. The best apps are those that are well organized and easy to navigate.

5. Provides full brand control

Some online grocery apps advertise multiple stores so their customers can shop for prices with your competitors. Moreover, if you are not a “preferred” partner of these platforms, your store prices will automatically be marked up (on average by 15%), making your business a less desirable option than your competitors.

You still need to control the consumer experience and showcase the uniqueness of your value and brand. Letting a third party become critical middleware between you and your customers is a clear and present danger to your brand identity.

Looking to simplify your e-commerce operations? Contact ECRS today to learn more about how our native outlet and the e-commerce solution can work for you.


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