Prof. Drosten is pleased. The chief virologist of the Charité Hospital in Berlin, who has become a media star with his daily podcast on NDR Info and thanks to whom hundreds of thousands of laypeople are suddenly talking about viral envelopes, PCR tests and antibody serums, recently made the following observation: the isolation is effective.
It seems that the infection rate can be flattened thanks to strict measures, such as those imposed by Jena, the first major city to make face masks mandatory in supermarkets and public buildings. Through many tests and voluntary physical distancing between people, the lethality rate among those infected with the coronavirus in Germany might be contained. To formulate it in slightly exaggerating terms: couch potatoes save lives!
However, the word »potato« already contains the current challenge: even couch potatoes have to eat. This is where food delivery services come into play. Because those who want to stay at home right now and do not have any neighbours who would kindly buy groceries for them type »food delivery« into a search engine – and just like that, they end up in the so-called e-food industry.
E-Food: Contactless Shopping Is Possible
One phrase can currently be found in online shops in all industries: contactless delivery. It has basically replaced free delivery and returns in terms of popularity. Because in times in which any interpersonal contact can be dangerous for individuals and society, customers are rather interested in contactless delivery.
Furthermore, online orders can be repeated more easily – regardless of whether they are delivered directly to one’s home via parcel service or whether they are collected from a supermarket. In times in which people are more likely to buy the same things over and over again, automation mechanisms are a blessing. Carrot soup on Mondays, spelt rice on Tuesdays, mango curry on Wednesdays, …
E-Food: The Industry Was Waiting for the Breakthrough Before the Crisis
While many industries either became successful purely online or experienced turnover increases both online and offline over the last two decades, the food industry long found it difficult to move away from traditional retail.
In 2018, a study found that Germans rather went to the supermarket or the weekly market instead of having their food delivered. Random tests which showed that e-food was often poorly cooled and the attested image of climate sin made the breakthrough even more difficult for the industry.
The current crisis is changing this. The market share recently amounted to two per cent, and the IFH Cologne predicted an increase to nine per cent by 2030. The past few weeks have turned these calculations upside down and market researchers may soon reassess the industry completely.
Companies that already have extensive expertise in food refrigeration, for example bofrost*, the direct distributor of frozen foods, can only handle the current all-time high in orders if they have also positioned themselves excellently in terms of their e-commerce software. According to bofrost*, online pre-order sales in 2020 have so far been more than twice as high as in the same period last year. However, a modernised online shop ensures that users do not notice high access rates at any time.
E-Food: Focusing on the User Is Essential in Online Shopping Business
Usability is also an important keyword when it comes to the success of the e-food industry. Buying food involves many different aspects. It may be fun to scroll through the limited sneakers of the season and see glossy photos as well as great product descriptions. But turning rice varieties, courgettes or even raw meat into a digital experience? That is a difficult undertaking.
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