26 October 2020, 08:05 AM
  • For cafés and coffee shops, online ordering systems can offer the edge needed to survive the pandemic. Mike Hughes, head of research and insight at FMCG Gurus explores the e-commerce opportunity
E-commerce offers a fresh opportunity for coffee shops amid Covid

Covid-19 is forecast to continue to impact our daily lives for some time to come. An FMCG Gurus survey on how Covid-19 has changed consumer behaviour conducted in July 2020 found that 58% of consumers said they expect the virus to continue to disrupt daily lives for at least twelve months.

Even when the virus has passed, consumers will still be conscious about their safety when visiting public places. In fact, a total of 54% say that they will be conscious about mass gatherings post-pandemic. This is something that will have profound implications on the foodservice channel. In the second quarter of 2020, an FMCG Gurus Foodservice survey found that even after the pandemic has passed, 44% of consumers anticipate that they will make fewer trips to foodservice outlets than they did prior to the outbreak.

Whilst consumers will look to substitute entering physical stores within the foodservice channel, they will still want to enjoy moments of indulgence on a regular basis – something that will continue to drive consumers online. This is why 78% of consumers say that they will now be more likely to order food and drink from the foodservice channel online more frequently.

Given that 84% of consumers already say they use mobile-based apps to order from the foodservice channel, this ordering method is one that will continue to become increasingly popular over the next couple of years. As such, outlets such as cafés and coffee shops need to ensure that they are fully utilising online channels in order to capture changing purchasing and consumption habits.

Currently, 74% of consumers say that they have visited a coffee shop in the previous six months, highlighting the popularity of such outlets. These outlets are particularly appealing to consumers in the morning and in the afternoon, a time when they want indulgence and convenience simultaneously. The coffee shop industry must look to capitalise on this by launching apps that either allow food and drink to be delivered directly to the consumer or allow the consumer to order for delivery from the store at specific times, thus minimising the amount of time they spend within the shop in close proximity to others.

Adding e-commerce capabilities will appeal to consumers who want to continue to enjoy small indulgences without feeling that they are over-exposed and at risk of capturing the coronavirus.

To learn more about the online opportunities available to independent retailers, download The Ultimate Guide to Online Retail here.

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