Blog Posts How Do I Satisfy Online Food and Beverage Shoppers?

Key Takeaways

  • Growing ecommerce order volume is putting pressure on retailers and food and beverage companies.
  • Online orders pose challenges for fulfillment operations accustomed to traditional brick-and-mortar sales.
  • Unpredictability, increased labor needs, heightened delivery expectations and multiple sales channels are just a few common issues to anticipate.

Food and beverage is one of the fastest-growing ecommerce categories today. As retailers and manufacturers move online to meet demand, many find that their fulfillment operations come up short.

Saddle Creek’s Food & Beverage Ecommerce Fulfillment Guide explores common challenges and strategies to help address them. Following is an excerpt…

Food and Beverage Ecommerce Fulfillment Challenges


In these uncertain times, demand is likely to be volatile. As seen in March 2020, fulfillment operations must be prepared to gear up rapidly to accommodate record order volume. However, they also need to be capable of dialing back should business slow. Flexibility is key.


The ecommerce business model typically involves a high volume of relatively low-value individual orders that must be piece-picked — a labor-intensive practice. To further complicate the process, shelf-life concerns for food items often dictate that orders be picked strategically to prevent product obsolescence.

Online food and beverage sales are projected to surpass $100 billion in 2021.

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Online shoppers have become accustomed to fast and free (or low-cost) deliveries. Orders must be processed quickly and efficiently – ideally the same day they are received. And then, of course, they must be shipped to arrive within an ever-shortening time window.


Ecommerce tends to be less profitable than traditional grocery sales, due in large part to higher labor needs and rising parcel shipping costs. Fulfillment operations must seek out every opportunity to create efficiencies and reduce costs while upholding service levels.


Gone are the days of selling exclusively through a single sales channel. Retailers and food and beverage companies need to sell wherever their customers are buying. That may include online stores, third-party marketplaces, subscription boxes or mobile apps. Consumers expect a seamless experience across all platforms.

To excel in this complex environment, retailers and food and beverage companies need to shore up their ecommerce fulfillment capabilities. Read the ebook to learn five helpful strategies.


Related to: COVID-19, Food & Beverage, Selling Online