With the innovations in digital platforms, almost all businesses have turned online, so is the case with groceries and essential items. Ever since the pandemic hit the world, people have preferred shopping for their groceries online due to recurrent restrictions and lockdowns. This rapid growth of the online grocery market has also given rise to the Dark Store Business model, where many retailers are switching to virtual stores for selling groceries.
What are Dark Stores?
Dark Stores are also known as micro-fulfilment centres or dotcom centres. It is generally a large warehouse located at a strategic location on the outskirts of the city. It can be used as a fulfilment platform for online orders through the website or mobile application and serve click and collect service or curbside pickups and last-mile delivery.
The Dark Store Business model offers a plethora of benefits for both retailers as well as consumers. The customers no longer have to stand in long queues and can get the orders delivered to their doorsteps within no time. It makes the grocery business efficient for the retailers, saving their real estate expenses, minimising cart abandonment, and providing high margin profits.
The fast-rising trend has made many online players like Grofers dark store adopt the business model as it smoothens the progress of their online grocery business. However, with this trend also comes the scope of expanding the business to the franchise, so let us take a look at the franchise business of dark stores.
How to Set Up Grocery Dark Store Franchise Business
It is no overstatement to say that dark stores will be a permanent part of the future market. Therefore, being future-ready is very important, and hence you should start planning as early as possible to have an upper edge in the market. Here are some mantras to consider while setting up a responsive dark store franchise business.
The location of your dark store should be strategic and near to a large number of existing customers. When seen from a franchise perspective, choose the locations where you want to offer franchise for your dark store after analysing the requirements of that specific location as well as your business targets.
- SOPs and Order Management
The franchisor should develop SOPs that have to be followed at every franchisee centre of your dark store. SOPs streamlines the business operations and helps in optimizing the order processing mechanisms, making the system more efficient. In addition, a well-managed SOPs and order management mechanism helps to provide real-time updates for the customers and retailers.
Logistics play a crucial role in the dark store supermarket business. An efficient logistics make sure there is a smooth and streamlined delivery service for the customers. The franchisor should make sure there is a strong network for last-mile delivery, which is on time, as it directly influences your brand value.
- Digital Presence
Your web presence will define your brand. An appealing website or mobile application with an easy-to-use interface is essential to run a successful dark store. Your design should engage with the audience you wish to target, and you should aim to provide a unique virtual store experience to your customers.
- An Integrated IT system
An IT system equipped with new-age technologies to integrate each and every franchise store can also ease manual tasks in your business operations.
- Legal Aspects
One should properly work on the laws and regulations in accordance with the respective location of the franchise store. Discuss your plans with a legal team to ensure no hindrance for your franchise store in the future.
- Customer Support
Strong customer support and customer service are necessary for a successful business. Responding to the queries and solving their issues should be the topmost priority for making your brand valuable.
- Data Analytics
Data analytics helps you understand the expectations of the customers you are targeting. It tracks the popularity of the products and locations and monitors the inventory and sales department altogether. It helps you understand what is making your profit and what is not, thus making your business easy.
Benefits of Franchising your Dark Store
- Business Assistance
One of the main benefits of the franchisee business is that the owner automatically gets assistance from the partners. You help the partners; they help you in scaling your business and developing the network. Franchising supports the scaling of dark store business models.
- Brand Value and Recognition
The franchise business helps you generate income through franchise fees, royalties, and of course, your brand value. Your brand provides services and gets recognition at various locations at the same time.
- High Sales and Profit
The sheer size of your network has the opportunity to sell goods at a higher discount in bulk. You can also negotiate bulk deals from vendors at the same time. A lower cost of goods will overall lower the cost of operations as well as increase the sales and, in turn, your profit. In addition, your popularity will influence the sales capacity of your brand. Also, your franchise partners will help you in gaining sales at various locations, which means more royalty.
Why Choose YRC
Wondering how to start an online grocery store? If you already have one, how can you franchise it? It is vital for you to get assistance from a reputed consultancy firm like YRC. Your Retail Coach provides a range of services and solutions in the retail industry, for both online as well as offline mode. Our experts can assist you at every step in setting up your dark store franchise business. From franchising your brand and SOP development to business development plans and business strategy consulting, we have expertise in the various services and can help you evolve as a big brand in your sector. Be it planning or implementing the right strategy, YRC is committed to helping your business gain consistency and fulfil your aspirations. So, contact us today for a flourishing grocery dark store business.