Boxed.com Enters Fresh Food Delivery
Online wholesale club Boxed.com has launched a fresh-focused delivery service called Boxed Express, allowing customers to receive their groceries in as little as three hours after placing an order.
The service – unveiled the same week that the New York-based grocer announced the launch of what it calls the first true autonomous shopping platform – will initially be available in New York, New Jersey, Atlanta and Boston. Delivery can be scheduled the same day or up to five days ahead of time, and the service area will expand in stages.
More than 500 fresh and frozen foods, including meat, fish and vegetables, are available via the new service. Customers can schedule desired delivery windows between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., seven days a week, and will receive a notification when their shopper finishes collecting an order, as well as another upon five minutes’ distance from the customer’s residence. Tracking via the Boxed mobile app, similar to Uber’s app, also is available.
"This is a highly competitive space, and as consumer expectations change, we wanted to offer our members a full range of goods; fresh and frozen is an essential part of that,” said Ashish Prashar, a Boxed representative. “We are expected to offer flexible, efficient and affordable delivery to our members, and, for that reason, source our products from a variety of local and national vendors."
Recent research and observations have shown that grocery delivery will see greater adoption in the United States when grocers crack the code for true fresh-focused operations. During a June 14 panel discussion at Pulse 2017, a recent grocery-technology-focused event hosted by Progressive Grocer and Food Marketing Institute, Linda Crowder, senior director of Peapod Interactive at Ahold Delhaize's Peapod subsidiary, based in the Chicago area, noted that the future of grocery delivery “is going to be where fresh goes,” meaning that when fresh is perfected in delivery, consumers will go from once-in-a-while users to loyalists.
Meanwhile, a June report from The NPD Group, of Port Washington, N.Y., revealed that the prior month saw only 7 percent of U.S. consumers shopping online for groceries, as they didn't have much control over their fresh purchases. Removing this barrier for Boxed users could be what makes the service’s fresh-focused entry a success.