DEMAND for online grocery shopping is here to stay amid the alert level downgrade in most parts of the country, a top official of a retail chain said.
For urban areas, the use of online platforms will continue despite consumers now flocking to supermarkets to personally shop for essential items, according to Manuel Alberto, president and chief operating officer of Metro Retail Stores Group Inc. (MRSGI).
“Online shopping has now become a lifestyle. It’s the pandemic that accelerated the use of it but buying items, food and non-food, online will continue even as consumers have returned to physical shopping. But it’s a different story in the countryside where people really opt to visit stores,” said Alberto. “But as we see it, online and personalized shopping will still remain.”
Alberto noted that greater mobility under the eased level alert is a boon to retail and to other industries, like tourism. Not only will livelihoods spur again but the expansion of brick and mortar stores in underserved areas will fuel growth in local economies. The easing of restrictions also breeds consumer confidence.
But opportunities are abounding for retailers who have been adaptive to the changes brought about by the pandemic. Alberto said those that have integrated a multichannel approach into their operations have gained more sales and have widened customer reach.
Alberto announced that MRSGI will soon launch an online shopping app and a unified call and text shopping number for its Metro Retail stores to make shopping experience convenient and seamless.
He said these two new developments will allow them to serve both the tech-savvy customers and those that still prefer the traditional way of purchasing items.
“Now consumers have more options. They could physically go to the supermarkets and buy or purchase online or call to order,” said Albert.
Besides integrating innovations into its business operations, MRSGI is also building up its store footprint in the Visayas, particularly in Cebu.
“We are full of optimism for the future, especially now that the country’s economic recovery is in full swing,” said Alberto, adding that the robust expansion of the group’s supermarket segment is opening livelihood opportunities to more Filipinos.
“We are taking this opportunity with the opening of the economy to further expand our store network and at the same time, make our value proposition more seamless online.”