Top eCommerce Competitors in the Food & Beverage Industry

ecommerce food and beverage

2017 will no doubt be known as the year of online grocery shopping. The online sale of food is booming and consumer spending on online grocery shopping could reach $100 million by 2025.

Despite the rosy picture this may paint, small- and medium-sized eCommerce retailers still face stiff competition from the likes of Amazon, as well as other leading food and beverage online retailers. To ensure that your eCommerce store is positioned for long-term success, it pays to do a little competitive analysis.

We’ve made it easy for you by rounding up the top eCommerce competitors in the food and beverage industry and identifying their best strategies that help them maintain their competitive edge.

Amazon

By far, one of the biggest disrupters to the grocery industry is Amazon. The eCommerce giant has been steadily improving its AmazonFresh grocery delivery service and its recent Whole Foods purchase has made other e-grocery retailers understandably nervous.

Although it’s unclear what Amazon has planned, we can expect the customer experience to be faster and more convenient than ever. Customers will soon be able to order groceries from Amazon.com and pick them up via lockers in certain Whole Foods stores.

The key takeaway? Be prepared to go above and beyond for your customers. For e-grocery stores to compete, they must offer convenience, fast delivery and fresh food.

NatureBox

Being in the online snacking business has its perks. Namely, there is no need to worry about perishable items. NatureBox is one of the more successful snack subscription boxes on the market and they’ve recently begun to increase their presence in physical stores.

NatureBox owes much of its success to its ability to harness real-time consumer data to fuel its marketing strategies. Thanks to accessible data, the company can easily determine which products their consumers respond to the most, deliver personalized boxes to their customers and recommend products tailored to each customer.

Sound intriguing? The use of big data isn’t exclusive to large eCommerce stores like NatureBox. Today, small- and medium-sized eCommerce businesses are using robust marketing automation tools to deliver highly targeted products to their customers to drive up sales.

Peapod

Shopping for groceries online isn’t new. Just ask Peapod, the Chicago-based grocery delivery service that has been operating for nearly 30 years. Before the Internet, Peapod customers would phone in their orders.

Perhaps it’s this early method of ordering that made the company recognize the importance of mobile users. While Peapod has mastered the art of delivering fresh food, it’s their award-winning mobile app that’s the true shining star.

Using the free app, customers can order online for home delivery or car-side service at one of their many pick-up locations. Peapod continues to innovate for mobile users and recently launched Alexa Skill for hands-free, voice ordering. If there is a lesson to be learned here, it’s that mobile users shouldn’t be ignored.

Thrive Market

thrive food and beverage

Although Amazon is slashing prices at Whole Foods, people still desire organic products at low prices. Where can these shoppers go to get such foods? Thrive Market has carved out a space as a trusted source for quality, natural foods at great prices since 2014. Backed by a unique giving back program, the company donates one free membership to families in need every time they sign a new member.

Thrive Market is essentially a combination of Whole Foods and Costco. The company offers organic products at competitive prices to its members, who pay a $60 annual membership fee.

To encourage users to sign up, Thrive Market offers a free trial and makes its value propositions clear on its homepage. They also take advantage of Pinterest ads to get the word out — a powerful strategy for those selling delicious food products in a competitive market.

Once users sign up for Thrive Market, the company leverages its email marketing like a pro with personalized product recommendations, special discounts, and win-back emails for those who cancel their membership.

Chef’d

Chefd food and beverage

Thanks to food price deflation at the grocery store, the meal kit delivery market is on the rise. But while companies such as Blue Apron are struggling, why is Chef’d suddenly beginning to take the lead?

First, Chef’d isn’t a subscription service, which means that customers aren’t wasting money when they don’t want to cook a meal at home. More importantly, Chef’d is making smart use of their marketing budget by relying on the social influence from their partners.

Partnerships can help your eCommerce store boost conversions by reaching a wider audience — something that Chef’d knows very well. It’s also why they don’t let this traffic go to waste once they land on their website.

Chef’d’s website is full of mouth-watering visuals that are designed to grab attention and keep users on their site for longer. Then, Chef’d provides personalized experiences for each visitor with their short quiz that helps them find the perfect meal.

Conclusion

Grocery retailers may have been slow to move online, but they are now making their presence known and shaking up the industry. Does your store rely on food and beverage sales? To remain competitive in this niche, you should know how you measure up in the market. Focus on creating unique value propositions that will help your business edge to the front of the shelf in this emerging industry.