The concept of online shopping has been gaining immense popularity during the last decade. People have been purchasing digital products like electronics, fashion accessories, and furniture through online portals. Even though Nigerians have started using online mediums for ordering take-out from their favorite restaurants, they still face inconvenience in ordering grocery items through an online medium.
Based on survey data from Morgan Stanley Research, nearly 84% of the people still prefer to purchase their groceries directly as they need to look and examine their groceries physically before buying it. This is because people have different preferences for food. Some might like their vegetables to be ripe, while another section of people might prefer their vegetable green.
Issues faced by companies
To make people purchase more groceries, websites like Amazon and Instacart allowed people to provide specific instructions for buying these products. This created some losses for the company as a large amount of produce was left unsold and wasted. In Seattle center, nearly one-third of the bananas were left out because people preferred bananas as a bunch of four or five. So, the workers had no other option than to throw away the extra banana in a bunch of six, based on a research paper by an MIT student in 2015. Also, because of quality issues, the count of people who tried to purchase groceries online and left it unsatisfied increased from 17% in 2016 to 27% percent in 2017.
Online Grocery Shopping in The Coronavirus Era
All these conditions of hygienic and handpicking put forth by the people for online grocery shopping had vanished recently because of a single reason. The global pandemic infection of COVID -19, popularly known as Coronavirus, has forced people to self isolate themselves and their families from the world. On December 31st, a patient with unknown flu-like symptoms was detected in Wuhan, China. The disease was later identified as Covid – 19, a mutated Virus strain of the Coronavirus family. The virus started spreading widely in China and then later started crossing international borders spreading to people from other countries.
Later during March, WHO introduced the disease as a pandemic. Many countries like the USA, UK, India, Italy, etc. closed their borders and isolated themselves from the world to prevent the spread. People also started to self isolate themselves from the outer world by staying indoors. From newsreaders to software engineers, everyone started to work from home.
Growth of grocery shopping during a pandemic
There are over 333,000 people affected worldwide, and nearly 14,200 people died succumbing to this disease. People have stopped attending mass gatherings, including weddings and funerals. Some funeral homes in New York have even started conducting funerals online to prevent mass gatherings. Because of this lockdown, people shed their trust on online grocery stores and started purchasing groceries and other daily necessities online.
According to the news reported by CNN business, the download of online grocery applications has exploded, and nearly 41% of people have tried these apps for the first time. Experts believe that within the next four months, most people will resort to online grocery shopping until the issues subside. They also expect that this trend will continue after the pandemic ceases to exist. As per the recent survey by Walmart, people who tried online grocery shopping for the first time stated that they would continue to shop online even after the lockdown is removed.
Effect of Coronavirus in Nigeria
So far, Nigeria has reported nearly 30 cases of Coronavirus. The government has restricted the entry of people from other infected countries. The country is slowly moving into lockdown, and most of the companies have ordered their employees to work from home. As a result, most of the grocery stores have shut down. As per the latest news, the Nigerian government has shut down the supermarkets in Abuja. People are trying to fill up their pantry by purchasing bulk orders in advance, creating a massive shortage in the grocery department. Even though multiple grocery stores are trying to cope up with the demands, the deficit still exists.
Online grocery stores are also struggling because of the sudden spurge in the customers. As a result, some people are facing these shortages personally. The government is also encouraging people to purchase products online to prevent the employees of supermarkets from getting infected. As a result, online grocery shopping in Nigeria has been facing some difficulties because of the lack of products and delivery persons.
Now Now Express to the rescue
If you are a Nigerian living in other parts of the world like Canada and the USA, then you can protect your loved ones living in Nigeria by ordering fresh groceries online using the Now Now Express. People can order groceries online, and fresh groceries will be delivered to people and your loved ones living in different parts of Nigeria on time. Anyone living in Canada and the USA can order food online by visiting the website nownowexpress.com.
During this pandemic situation, the world is facing now; it is our duty to help others as much as possible with food and medicines. Self-isolate yourself to save yourself and others from infections. Report and test yourself immediately if you have the symptoms for an increased survival rate. Negligence is one attribute that will not help people during this pandemic season.