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E-commerce food: find out how to open a gourmet grocery store

E-commerce food- find out how to open a gourmet grocery store

Is opening an online grocery store profitable?

Online commerce is, without a doubt, one of the trends of the Third Millennium. Since the early years of the new millennium, in fact, it is possible to find online a wide variety of products, from books to electronics. With the Covid-19 epidemic, then, there has been a real explosion of internet commerce.

In response to the restrictions imposed to counter the spread of the pandemic, Italians have learned to shop on the web and the online food sales sector has grown stunningly.

As restrictions have lifted, many people have maintained the habit of buying food products via the internet, picking them up in the store later or having them shipped home.

In 2021, over 10 million Italian households (equal to 43% of the total) made food and drink purchases online; The trend is expected to rise further in 2022 and in the following years, thanks to an increasingly widespread distribution network and branched out throughout the territory. Click here to learn more about Italian household expenses.

If you are planning to open an online grocery store, then, this is the right time. Let’s find out together what requirements are necessary to start a business of this kind and how to organize a successful business.

The requirements to run an online grocery store

Opening a grocery store on the net requires a series of preliminary formalities. As with any commercial activity, even e-commerce in the food & beverage sector requires the opening of a VAT number by the operator and the simultaneous registration of the activity in the register of the Chamber of Commerce.

The owner must also register with the separate INPS management and communicate the start of the activity through a SCIA (Certified Report of Start of Activity) to the competent SUAP, in order to obtain an adequate commercial license.

It will also be necessary to report the opening of the activity to the territorial ASL, which will carry out annual inspections on your company to verify compliance with the rules on food hygiene.

But the formalities necessary to open an online grocery store do not end there. The current legislation provides for a series of professional and moral requirements essential for anyone who wants to carry out this kind of activity.

In particular, if you want to start an online grocery store you must have at least one of these requirements: – be in possession of a qualification (diploma, degree or professional qualification at least three years) on subjects related to the preparation of food, their administration or their trade;
– have passed the course of Food and Beverage Administration (which replaces the REC);
verprocessed, for at least 2 years in the last five years, in realities operating in the food production, processing or marketing sector.

The so-called Bersani Decree (D.Lgs.114/1998) has also established a series of moral and personal requirements that must be respected by the owner of a food e-commerce (or by the legal representative, if the activity is carried out in corporate form).

In particular, habitual offenders cannot open an online grocery store:
unless they have been rehabilitated;
– those who have been convicted of extortion, robbery, fraudulent bankruptcy, usury, or crimes against public hygiene;
– who, in the last 5 years, has been sentenced to a prison sentence of at least 3 years, for a non-culpable crime.

Products and strategies for a successful grocery store on the web

Once you have ascertained that you have all the necessary requirements and have completed the myriad of bureaucratic formalities necessary to open your online grocery store, you can finally move on to the operational phase and put your products on sale. Even in this part of the process, however, there are some important aspects that you must always keep in mind.

1. Do market research to figure out which market niche is most profitable for your products. Try to frame your potential customers to meet their needs. In principle, those who buy online tend to be young, up-to-date and attentive to the fashions and trends of the moment.

It focuses on excellence, craftsmanship and gourmet ingredients. Orienting yourself on the sale of typical, organic, biodynamic, zero km products or specially designed for particular ethical and food needs, you will hardly make a hole in the water.

2. Choose carefully the foods to be marketed: whether it is a showcase for the products of your family business, or a large market-place that resells other people’s goods, never forget to have an eye for quality.

Don’t be tempted to offer food at bargain prices: premium products can also have high prices, what matters is to guarantee a high quality-price ratio and, above all, to ensure your customers a first-class gastronomic experience.

Take inspiration from the retailers of the best food excellences on the net to choose the products that will allow you to break through.

3. Take care of the packaging of the products you sell: check that they contain all the indications required by law in force and that they are attractive and elegant; Also, make sure your brand is clearly visible, easy to identify and remember.

4. Develop a website that is easy to navigate, fast, suitable for both desktop and mobile devices. In addition to the products, you also include images that can capture attention and quality texts, insights and other informative materials, curated and optimized from an SEO perspective. Check out our gourmet grocery store.

5. Encourage your customers to leave you reviews, both on your e-commerce site and on your social pages, through discounts and special offers. Set up fast and efficient customer support to deal with any complaints or dissatisfied customers.

6. For deliveries, contact a reliable and accurate courier, who treats your products with care and ensures that they reach customers on time; Never forget that on-time delivery is essential for food products, especially for baskets for Christmas, Easter or other holidays.

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