Imagine if former NAACP leader Leon Jenkins from Detroit wanted to buy some sardines and crackers, neck bones, bag of pork rinds with the hot sauce packet but he don’t want to be seen in public with a dried out World of Curls. Thankfully there is an emerging grocery model that will allow people like Leon Jenkins to go grocery shopping without stepping inside in a grocery store! This concept is known as online grocery pickup and use the emerging retailing concept of “buy online/pickup in store” or BOPIS. In this article we are going to introduce brothas and sistas to the online grocery pickup model, talk about the advantages for the hood and how to implement the model in the hood. I think the takeaway is many cats will realize not only this business model is doable, but all the components to actually do it have been discussed on this blog over the years. The Online Grocery Pickup Model The online grocery pickup model allow customers to use their mobile device or desktop computer to shop for products similar to an e-commerce web site. The customer can also have a credit card on file and will indicate what date and time to pick up their items on the web site or software. The grocery pickup location is more of a warehouse where only employees are inside picking orders and putting them in a basket. The pickup spot will have a car park area for customers to arrive, confirm their order and pick up their order when the grocery pickup operation brings out to load in their car. Wal-Mart announced they will pursue the online grocery pickup model that allow customers to order online and visit a car park area similar to a drive-in restaurant from the 1950s to receive their grocery order. I’m providing brothas and sistas blueprints of the layout for their review. [click image to enlarge] You should notice that Wal-Mart is planning 15,000 square foot warehouse and you should notice the car parking slots and the big stripe path in the center where the orders are taken out the warehouse to the car. I remember others like Publix tried this with curbside pickup and you also have Swiss Farm and SmartMart that you can find videos on YouTube that done something similar. But the one model that already done what Wal-Mart is talking about and what we are talking about here as the idea online grocery pickup model is Zoomin out in Kansas City. The video show the staff picking products from the shelves as the customer make an order from the comfort of his home. Then you see the customer show up and enter some stuff on a kiosk and the staff come out with his grocery and load up in the car. Advantages of the Online Grocery Pickup Model The Online Grocery Pickup Model biggest advantage for the hood is that it eliminates the majority of issues starting up and running a grocery store operation. Let’s go through the awesomeness and benefits of why the hood should consider this business model. Membership Model. The grocery operation know the customers they are working with because they are registered users. No more funky cats hanging outside the store trying to sell food stamps and I had an ex-girlfriend that like to fall on the floor of these retail establishments and sue their insurance for $30K, real talk. With this model, the grocery operation focus on knowing their customers and if customers want to trip, can remove them from the service altogether. No more loitering also, just nothing but cars with orders to pick up. Better Inventory Control. Hood grocery operations no longer have to worry about cats shoplifting or boosting from their store because they will never be inside of a store. The only ones inside are employees and because only staff is inside, better technology such as RFID and even laser/cameras can be used to manage inventory to every last item being tracked in real-time. This gives the grocer the ability to show real-time availability of products on the web site and inform the user when an item is sold-out or being restocked. Single Parents with Kids. A working single parent do not have to worry about shopping when they get home from work, they can manage their grocery list on their phone and simply pick up their items with their child still in the car. This prevents some brat screaming and crying for a toy or some kind of food because the kid is never in a store but sitting in a car seat. Ride-Sharing Services Compatible. People who don’t got cars can use Uber, Lfyt or ZipCar to just go and pickup their grocery order and be in and out in little time versus shopping and having to call a cab. To me, this is a game changer for the hood that allow many car-less people stay in the community and shop and spend more money. This Create Good Jobs In the Hood. Brothas and sistas in the hood can have a stable entry-level jobs in the hood picking orders to managing the RFID technology and maintaining the kiosks. Also create opportunity for STEM jobs to work on the web site or cloud management service and also do buying and other retail operations. These are some damn good jobs that can come as a result of this online grocery pickup model directly in the hood. Data Analytics and APIs. Because customers are making online orders, it is possible to detect trends in the hood in terms of what people are eating and the intervals they are buying stuff to be able to stock inventory more efficiency – regular grocers have to play a guessing game on these aspect. When it comes to APIs, you can have software cats like me create stuff where I can create a lifestyle grocery list for cats who want to diet for the running club and just pay and pickup prepackaged grocery list orders. If I want to do lamb chops or oxtails, a grocery can quickly assemble all the ingredients so now we going to a whole new level of lists and grocery list management. How to Execute the Online Grocery Pickup Model in the Hood You want to know the cool part? You brothas and sistas can get this business model up and running quickly in the hood and you know the funny part? Dream and Hustle already covered in this blog over the years on how to setup this hustle. So I already know how to make this happen and now let me break it down. Create STEM Components. You should use a responsive HTML5 e-commerce template and customize it. These templates are only about $20 and you can customize it to the server-side language of your choice. For the pickup kiosk – I recommend the hood-based online grocery pickup model use a person to come out physically and verify the order versus buying kiosk machines. You should also have a system to track all of the inventory and this can be cloud-based or server-based. Create Web Site to Gather Intelligence. Using the article I wrote about SQL Server Merge feature, you can create a $5/month GoDaddy coming-soon site that allow people to enter products and stuff they want to buy. It is also possible to let them scan UPC codes using a mobile phone and enter into your database. What will happen is you will see a list of items that the hood buys and then you will know what to stock up front with better intelligence. This allow you to start from the ground up and anybody willing to invest in your operation will be impressed with your ability to engage the hood, sign up potential customers who are ready to do business with you. Find a Location in the Hood. In the hood, the ideal location will be able to accommodate parking and this is most likely going to be an old truck depot or rail yard depot lot. It is possible you can make a deal with the local politicians to give you that land for free and also get TIF funding for your business because of the fact you are creating local jobs and a serious tax generator for the community. The location will also have to be off a main street or have access to a main street. While most hood buildings still have old warehouses that can be refurbished, it’s probably best to acquire an abandoned grocery store building as your best bet. Execute a Kickstarter Campaign. Now that you got the software created with HTML5, the signups and registration from your coming soon page and have a location, it’s time to start the Kickstarter fundraising. Create a video presentation talking about how you will be creating jobs in the hood, solve the food desert problem in the inner city. The one thing about Kickstarter is you have to do a dog-and-pony show and go on a tour to raise money. You cannot be sitting there thinking money just going to come from nowhere online. You got to get out there and hustle hard to raise money. Start Hiring, Start Buying. Once you raise your funding from Kickstarter, use that money as leverage to start hiring a staff and start buying equipment and inventory. Have a job fair for cats to do construction, the sistas to do the picking of products and brothas to deliver to the trunk. If it was up to me, I would hire illegal immigrants pay them under the table and hire no one from the local community and if ICE come knocking, have the illegals run out the warehouse and scatter around the hood and come back to work when ICE leave. If the local community want to complain about no local jobs, then I will just buy KIVA robots to do the work but that just me and my mentality. Start the Business. Bring the local politicians and news crew to opening day and cut a ribbon or whatever. Watch the orders start coming in, have the cars park and your staff greet them and bring them their groceries. Be ready to anticipate items going out of stock and what items are being requested and make sure your inventory is lean. You are taking money over the Internet and try to use techniques such as prepaid card and direct debit to avoid high merchant fees. Then once you have the business narrowed down, take this model and open it up in another hood and another hood and another hood. You Ain’t Gotta Like It Because the Hood Gonna Love It The hood will definitely love the online grocery pickup model because it’s a win-win solution for the Black community. The business model create both entry-level jobs and STEM jobs and the community will know they are shopping at a place that hiring their own people. The biggest thing I think is a game changer is leverage ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to pickup people who don’t got cars and get their groceries and they don’t have to walk anymore to a grocery store and carry heavy bags homes, that’s a real big deal. But most important this model is more safe and secure because you don’t have to get kids arrested for shoplifting because they will never be inside the store. The employees I believe will know it ain’t jobs around the hood and they better appreciate a local hood job that can help them pay the bills. But most important is this online grocery pickup business model can be expanded to different hood areas around the nation competing with Wal-Mart and other upstarts by focusing on the hood. It would not surprise me to see this business model bought out for a billion dollars by a big box retailer if a brotha or sistas just get into doing something real to get something running in the inner city. Bonus: You want to know how to really kickstart this hustle? Create a contest before actual launch for the hood to create a basket and 5 winners get everything in their basket for free. That will accelerate intelligence gathering for knowing what products to buy ahead.