Greece’s first exclusively online supermarket – the first to also offer perishable foodstuffs – was launched in June and is aiming at a turnover of 15 million euros within the first 12 months of operation, serving individual and corporate customers. So far in Greece, only a handful of established chains in the organized food retail sector have also set up online shopping websites in parallel with their physical stores. To offer an idea of e-Fresh.gr’s potential, even though the Greek market is much smaller, British supermarket Ocado, which is exclusively online, has a turnover of around 1.31 billion euros a year.
E-Fresh.gr is already partnered with 300 suppliers and offers 10,000 products, which include foodstuffs, personal hygiene and cleaning products, pet and baby care products, and small electronic devices. Tapping into the potential of the recent liberalization of the para-pharmaceutical market, it also offers vitamins, dietary supplements, bandages and a few monitoring instruments.
For the time being, e-Fresh.gr can only deliver to customers within the Attica region, where it hopes to secure a solid footing, and expansion to a broader geographical area has not been ruled out. The minimum order is set at 25 euros, with free delivery for orders of above 55 euros. Deliveries can be made within two hours of purchase. The site also has a reward program for loyal customers and a special section for corporate clients, mainly small companies with needs in cleaning and paper products, etc. The e-Fresh.gr website also provides information on the different foods’ nutritional characteristics, allows users to rate the products and to see other consumers’ ratings.
The company currently employs around 50 people at its central offices and in its delivery service, while e-Fresh.gr has made significant investments in infrastructure, with more investments being planned to strengthen the storage network and for marketing and advertising campaigns.
According to the estimates of electronic commerce consultancy firm Convert Group, annual turnover in electronic food retail is expected to reach 383 million euros by 2020, representing around 3.6 percent of total turnover in the supermarket sector. It is estimated that in 2015, supermarket turnover from online purchases came to 28 million euros.