Computers and connetivity is still transforming the way we do things in a rapid pace. What needed synchrounous communication over phone, or slow asynchronous communication over mail is now done asynchronously and instantly over apps and web browsers.
The most necessary of chores such as shopping for food can now be done at anytime from anywhere, albeit with a delay in getting the groceries to your door.
New technology opens up not only online supermarkets, but may also change our habits in other ways.
1. Groceries online
This is the most straightforward way of using the web to do shopping. Just put the same goods as a supermarket in a webshop and deliver orders home. This is not very innovative, but it's still a nice service. Order by mail has existed for the mass market for at least a century, so it's nothing new per se. But the convenience and speed of doing grocery shopping from a distance has not really been possible at scale until recently.
Warehouses and the already efficient supermarket model
Modern supermarkets are actually very efficient businesses. A supermarket chain is basically a bunch of warehouses containing all the most common everyday items people generally buy. The warehouses are self service, so the customer themselves do the work of picking up the items they want. The customer also transports their shopping back home at no cost to the supermarket.
What these supermarkets have to pay for that online supermarkets don't pay for is the staff that keep the warehouse serviced and presentable, as well as the rent of property which can be substantial in urban areas.
What a traditional supermarket offers the customer is instant delivery of goods purchased and the ability to physically inspect what you buy. Supermarkets are also doubling or tripling up as post offices and simple restaurants sometimes. This means they are here to stay, and online supermarkets will only supplement existing physical stores.
2. Recipe boxes
Recipe boxes is a bit more innovative concept. A subscriber pays for delivery of professionally picked groceries. One may call it meal planning as a service. One would think chefs that know about which ingredients are best for each season should be able to pick meals better than ordinary people.
The food box service doesn't really need the internet to function. The model could work just fine in a world without instant connectivity. Though some nice to have features such as cancelling a delivery last-minute would perhaps be a bit more cumbersome where such a thing has to be done ny phone calls.
3. Directly from the farmer
This might be the most exciting trend for foodies and producers of foods. It wasn't really practical before the internet to order directly from farmers unless you spent a lot of time on coordination and transport. Especially if you didn't know farmers or lived in the city.
Ordering groceries or subscribing to some kind of delivery shouldn't be too farfetched with the technology we have today. It needs some getting used to both for food producers and customers to do things in this way, but once the necessary platforms are built and best practices are widespread, this could be revolutionising the way we eat more than online supermarkets.
There are countless advantages of buying directly from farmers. A middleman is cut out, the food will be less processed, and a stronger connection between the grower and the consumer will be built.