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30 April 2021

The Grocery Apps Delivering the Goods

When the first UK lockdown came into force in March 2020, many of our daily routines changed overnight, and outings to the supermarket quickly became our only taste of normality and freedom outside our homes.

However, with queues forming outside many essential shops and supermarkets across the UK as social distancing measures were introduced, footfall appeared to fall. In fact, between March and April 2020 when Great Britain was first locked down, the monthly growth rate in quantity of products bought from supermarkets fell by 2.8%, while demand in specialist food stores dropped by 29.4%, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Since social distancing was introduced in the UK, the data above suggests a reluctance by consumers to visit physical supermarket stores. Now, start-ups and other, more established technology companies, are catering to this reluctance.

The Snappy Group, based in Dundee, has developed the Snappy Shopper app service which offers goods from local convenience stores and arranges delivery in as little as 30 minutes. The Snappy Group is part of a growing trend of grocery delivery services alongside the likes of Deliveroo, which offers the service for larger supermarkets, and Zapp, Weezy, Dija and Getir, which offer deliveries within 10 minutes direct from their own specialist warehouses.

Unlike its competitors, however, Snappy Shopper covers a much larger area of the UK, rather than selected cities such as London or Manchester. Spar, Nisa and Costcutter are among its partner stores, offering a more local feel to the service compared to the larger supermarket chains. Users of the app are directed to the nearest local partner store, with delivery costing £1.95.

The grocery delivery market has taken off since the start of the pandemic in the UK, with many consumers preferring home deliveries rather than visiting physical stores due to the convenience, and out of fear of catching COVID-19.

Morrison’s, along with Sainsbury’s, the Co-op, Aldi, Marks and Spencer and Waitrose, all now partner with Deliveroo, with customers able to have groceries delivered to their houses in double quick time. Now, Snappy Shopper, which was founded in 2017, two years before the pandemic, has expanded the phenomenon of rapid grocery delivery to local, often independent stores in a bid to take on the big-name supermarkets.

In March last year, the ONS reported on the changes in the turnover of food stores in its monthly business survey. 217 respondents stated that COVID-19 had directly affected turnover; 38 said that panic buying had had an impact, while 69 were affected by closure.

By offering home deliveries at the click of a button, apps such as The Snappy Shopper could see their popularity continue to rise well after the pandemic has passed.
 
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The Grocery Apps Delivering the Goods
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