Are you ready for a confession? This is something I never thought I would say out loud, but it has completely rocked my world.
For the past three months, I haven’t set foot in a grocery store. I know what you’re thinking—Nat, you’ve got to be kidding? No way, rosé. This is indeed a fact.
“The key is to embrace disruption and change early. Don’t react to it decades later. You can’t fight innovation.” —Ryan Kavanaugh
Lessons Learned: Disruption of the Grocery Business
Just a few years ago it would have been unfathomable to consider ordering organic produce from an app on your iPhone and having your week’s dinner menu delivered directly to your doorstep.
When we moved to San Francisco, Huey and I stepped into a technological time warp. With the touch of a button, we could have anything that we wanted delivered within hours.
The future is here… and it contains a valuable lesson for all of us who are trying to run a business. The type of lesson that entrepreneurs have been learning the hard way for hundreds of years.
Think like a consumer:
What are the biggest pain points found in traditional grocery shopping?
- Travel time to and from the store; parking + traffic
- Time spent wandering the aisles looking for precisely the items needed
- Standing in line to check out
- Lugging heavy bags back
Let’s meet my favorite grocery industry disruptors and I’ll share how I’m using them to save time every single week.
I’ve been using Hello Fresh for nearly a year now and it’s been a game changer! You can pick a meal plan depending on your schedule and household size. Once per week, your HelloFresh box is delivered to your doorstep completely free of charge. The recipes are delicious and have completely changed my weekly routine. Less time spent meal planning and more time spent enjoying dinner with my sweet husband.
When we first arrived to San Francisco, we discovered Instacart and our lives were forever changed. (Dramatic… perhaps! However, this app is the real deal!) Instacart is an on demand grocery delivery service that connects you with local shoppers who pick up and deliver your groceries from stores like Target and Whole Foods. We order our weekly produce via Instacart and continue to be impressed by their service.
I would be lying if AmazonNow didn’t freak me out a little bit! It’s that good. When I spent my first night in our San Francisco apartment—I ordered sheets, a pillow, and a bath towel that was delivered in a little over an hour.
Saucey delivers alcohol to your doorstep in under an hour. Anytime we are leaving the office late and I’m too tired to swing by the store to grab wine to go with dinner, I’ll order on the app and it arrives right as dinner is finished cooking. Genius!
The bad news? Currently, Saucey is only available in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and Chicago! They are expanding to more cities in the future, but I would recommend creating your account if you travel to any of the cities above and want to do a wine-night in with friends.
Disruptors to the industry are recognizing the pain points of traditional shopping and finding ways to create convenience every step of the way. They are daring to think outside of the box and invent new ways of providing food and necessities to the end consumer.
As a photographer, I remember the days of DVDs and flash drives… it wasn’t until cloud based solutions like CloudSpot popped up that the industry truly began to experience a true technological disruption. Now clients could order prints directly from the internet and have professional quality products delivered directly to their doorstep. No need to drive to the studio to place an order. No uncomfortable pitching or in person sales tactics needed.
This is one of the primary reasons I moved from checks as a form of payment to online processing through HoneyBook. It saves me time (no longer watching for the mail to arrive, driving to the bank, waiting in line!) and it gives my client the opportunity to pay for their photography like they pay for everything else in their lives… easily online.
And while there will always be people who prefer to shop in grocery stores—some clients will prefer traditional operations methods. I believe, however, that the businesses who constantly evolve and strive to solve consumer pain points will secure their place in the future of the industry.
Think of the pain points that your customers or clients experience on a daily basis. How can you solve these issues through innovation? How can you put yourself at the forefront of a changing entrepreneurial landscape? I’d love to know your thoughts!