The Importance of Online Shopping Apps and eCommerce Websites for Independently Owned Convenience and Grocery Stores

Make no mistake: Online shopping Apps and eCommerce Websites aren’t just for the big chains. Independent business owners of small-to-mid-sized groceries and convenience stores, liquor and tobacco establishments, and hardware stores would be wise to invest in providing online shopping opportunities for their customers.

During the pandemic, as people are more frenzied than ever juggling work, their children’s remote learning and childcare, time is at a premium. Online shopping using Apps and websites has increased significantly as folks jump on their computers, phones and other devices to order ahead for curbside or in-store pickup, or delivery, to save time and devote energy to other pressing issues.

Plus, curbside pickup and delivery have taken on new meaning and importance during the pandemic. They are no longer a matter of convenience but now a health and safety consideration. According to a 2020 survey of 952 online shoppers from Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights, 84.5% said they are at least somewhat concerned about contracting coronavirus during in-store grocery shopping.

For owners of independent grocery stores, there’s also the matter of keeping up with the competition. Online food shopping Apps like DoorDash and Instacart have boomed in popularity. If your establishment doesn’t offer similar or better online options, you run the risk of potential customers choosing stores that do, and consumers are willing to go a further distance than your store to take advantage of ordering ahead of time. With foot traffic increasingly on the rise, providing online shopping Apps may well become a matter of sheer survival in addition to revenue generation. The statistics are astounding. According to, online shopping sales are expected to surpass $740 billion by 2023, over 70 percent revenue growth from 2019.

Online shopping isn’t just for small to mid-sized groceries either. Convenience stores, bodegas, liquor and tobacco establishments, and hardware stores can also benefit. No customer enjoys waiting on line, no matter what your store sells. Browsing the shelves from home is a great convenience whether the consumer is purchasing bread and milk, beer and wine, or home improvement supplies. Plus, shopping from the comfort of home gives busy consumers more time to peruse items and order more than they may buy on a physical, non-shop ahead visit to your store. Speaking of liquor, some online Apps, like the BR Club shopping app offered by National Retail Solutions, have the capacity to remind customers that they need to present their ID before picking up an order or receiving delivery.

Offering online shopping Apps and eCommerce websites seems like a logical choice. So why haven’t more business owners, especially proprietors of small to mid-sized locations, made the investment? For one, there’s the fear of high fees associated with creating and maintaining online Apps and websites, as well as increased delivery costs.

However, there are companies like National Retail Solutions (NRS) that offer shopping Apps and eCommerce websites at very agreeable prices, with no hidden fees and top-rate customer service. NRS is the leading provider of POS systems to small-to-mid-sized groceries and convenience stores, and offers eCommerce services that are integrated with the POS system.

In addition, by providing an eCommerce website, NRS strips away the hefty price tag for a business to build and maintain its own website. Business owners must, of course, ensure that their inventory and prices stay current so that their online offerings are accurate and attractive. NRS’ inventory tracking system uses data analytics in real-time so that merchants can check on sales up-to-the-minute from anywhere.

In today’s digital world, a suite of integrated POS services including online shopping Apps, eCommerce websites and inventory tracking are essential revenue boosters for small to mid-sized businesses now, and are vital for long-term prosperity. Still apprehensive? Contact NRS and learn about our comprehensive, affordable and easy to maintain services. We provide the service; your business reaps the benefits.