Family-owned fresh food grocer Harris Farm was late to the online grocery delivery world, but it has one killer feature that it hopes will give it an edge over the big guys.
With Coles or Woolworths, the best they can offer for delivery is on the next day, and even then, that depends on how busy your local store’s delivery truck is.
Harris Farm, on the other hand, is now promising same day delivery, as long as you order before 5pm.
“Lots of people have become really time poor, and because of this, there’s lots of demand for short turnaround deliveries,” James Kerridge, head of marketing and ecommerce at Harris Farm told Business Insider.
“Woolworths and Coles [delivery systems] aren’t as fast and efficient as ours, ours really pushes the boundaries to offer a solution for delivery in just a few hours.”
Growing an online grocery business can be extremely hard, with buyers reluctant to trust others to pick their fruit and vegetables for them. Picking out your own goods is the core of Harris Farm’s business.
This is what makes the same day delivery system so important for Harris Farm. As Kerridge says, you need something to convince a buyer to give it a go for the first time. Once they start, they almost always buy again.
“Convenience is really, really important in getting buyers to go online, as is building trust,” he said.
“The hardest part is getting a buyer to do it once, but if you build that trust with them for someone else to pick their produce, you’ve jumped the biggest hurdle.”
Just in the online business, there are around 30-40 people working each day, with the food coming from 4 of their 24 retail stores.
Harris Farm’s online store is currently the fastest growing part of the business, with Kerridge saying it grew 60% in the last 12 months alone.
It’s a mixture of both consumers sentiment changing towards online grocery shopping but the store also offering a better experience, bringing in other technology partners to help out.
“We’re a grocery retailer, not a technology retailer, so we brought on the likes of Braintree to take care of the payment side of things, which improved the online experience immensely,” Kerridge said.
“Our growth since our technology partnerships has been significant, there’s no longer any friction points for customers to get to the checkout and get their food.”