Mike discussed on KIRO Nights

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It'll pop up on the screen in and we can hear your thoughts at least read your thoughts and then maybe other people here and if we decide to read about in the air who knows anything can happen that's the fun thing about so okay Mike I got a question for you have you ever bought groceries online at just a couple of times I've I did AmazonFresh two or three times my girlfriend immediately became convinced it was more expensive than me going down to KFC and so I've done a couple times since then but I haven't delivered when she's not home so she doesn't know anything about your doing covert Chris we do but I don't do very often yeah that's fantastic I have I've never done it I'm still old school but apparently I am I am a dying breed and and you know like we do on the show we love to bring on experts and and we have one joining us right now Taylor Soper from geekwire managing or geekwire thank you for joining us but Taylor when you did a story recently just about how this be online shopping online grocery stores Instacart things like this are soaring right now because people are home they can't they don't want to go out or they're just limited on where they can go and of the ordering has gone through the roof is that is essentially what's going on right now right correct and yet thanks thank god for having me on hope you're safe and staying healthy yeah this this this pandemic has basically forced a lot of people to buy groceries online and and it's resulted in what some analysts are calling a permanent consumer shift you know all my grocery buying has already been ramping up over the past several years but haven't quite hit the mainstream per se but RBC capital this ran a survey of fifteen hundred shoppers and forty two percent of eight use online shop grocery shopping at least once a week and that's up from twenty two percent in two thousand eighteen so definitely it definitely what is trending upward already but this code nineteen crisis has just shot everything away up Instacart as said that you know they were expecting that type of growth in two to four years and I've seen it happen in two to four weeks so the amazing what's happening to the online grocery industry right now so what does that mean in terms of hiring for example it is that delivery people are at a premium right now definitely and if you try to buy from Amazon for Asher Amazon prime now or Instacart you may have had trouble finding an open delivery time math because there's not enough workers and so Instacart I she said that they're going to hire an additional three hundred thousand shoppers the next three months to keep up with demand and yet so they've they've they've got this influx of demand and they really need workers now the workers cited so it's a whole nother topic to dive into because you know these are fairly low wage jobs and right now if you're a shopper working for one the service of your you know you know you're kind of putting yourself at risk by going into grocery stores and hanging outside all day and driving around and making a delivery is and so there's there have been some push backs from some of the shoppers there was an Instacart strike and Instacart has made a few changes like providing hand sanitizer and then map but for sure these companies are in need of these workers from the demands yeah well I'm curious so these sort of gig jobs I would imagine that Instacart given its projected growth given its current growth is very interested in having these delivery people treated as contractors and not as full time employees is that correct for sure you know that the date has been going on for years now with companies like Instacart are over I mean how do you treat these workers as contractors or do you treat them as employees and have to give them benefits and what's happening with the cover nineteen outbreak on you know topics like unionization and making the gig workers into full time employees is super interesting if you're following what was happening with Amazon and and the the factory worker in New York I got fired for speaking out and protesting you know the unionization in it it is is that the core of the ana how Amazon really doesn't want to have their you know warehouse workers unionized and so with the grocery deliveries it's it's a similar conversation in that you know the ideal workers are in demand they have a little more you know say to demand some of the benefits and so can be really interesting to watch companies like Instacart and Amazon you know how much are they going to be giving to these contractors well I would think much more than before because they really need I mean on this because the demand for this labor is super high and they may have to make some it may have to give up some something to his workers because they they they they they need him yeah we call them heroes I mean you hear it every day right that's people are saying maybe we should treat him like it thrown out out there I'm so Taylor the the idea that you know I look back it at online shopping I'm I'm thirty nine years old I was a teenager when Amazon kind of started doing its thing and we were talking about well you're there certain things you're never going to buy off the internet like books were easy right sure I'll buy a book offline but something like shoes or clothes or food or things like that people said you're you're you're never going to do that online you're always going to want to go in a store and we've seen at least with with clothing that that's not the case at all people people buy clothes **** nilly online now do you think that that this is going to be that sort of that this has gotten people who may not have been used to the idea of buying food online now they are used to the idea of buying food online and this will be the new normal yeah you bring up a great point with that you know we started with books and CD's getting shipped to our front steps our doorsteps and now we're comfortable with almost anything being bought online except for groceries you know any person like I've actually never done online grocery to because I want to go to the store and you know pick my produce pick my knees instead I don't really mind going to the store but like you said this this pandemic has kind of forced people to use online grocery and and for a lot of the people people they they're realizing the extra conveniences that not actually having to go to the store miss having a show up on your doorstep because I think there's so many orders coming through the price is you know I know my connection and maybe something that is more expensive I think it's pretty compatible to you actually going to the store and so we get the price compatible you added convenience online grocery really seems to and a lot of ways like a better option than going to the store and so I think companies like Instacart and Amazon and others like that I've kind of been banking on that shift happening I just didn't know no one expected it happened it happened so quickly you know in the last month like it had so you know the RBC capital study I mentioned earlier that that three analysts there were saying that this is a permanent consumer shift that is happening I'm gonna take all my groceries becoming habitual practice among shoppers so interesting to see what happens you know even as the economy re opened and you know hopefully we can we can we get past this outbreak I think it's pretty safe to say that you know you're gonna see some folks just switch mainly to online grocery shopping we're talking to Taylor Soper managing editor of geekwire Taylor are they seeing the growth and I mean obviously in a place like Seattle there probably was earlier quick growth there is but you know it's an early adopter kind of town I'm Sir places in the bay area in California southern California as well maybe New York but are they seeing the growth the Instacart growth in the other places in Oklahoma City for acts or to Maureen Iowa are they seeing Instacart or do you know if they're seeing that sort of growth in those places that traditionally maybe haven't been early adopters for at least some of this yeah that's a great question I haven't seen any by city or our state by state data but I'll have to imagine that you know like you said early adopters kind of on a place like Seattle or San Francisco or New York City maybe folks that are always on their phones over time haven't you know what you need to know that online grocery delivery existed but I I know from this pandemic you know people are being forced to whether you live in Iowa or Illinois or Florida kind of use the services if you don't want to go to the store and we just put yourself at Rick's risk so you know the numbers that we're seeing at your times reported that Amazon grocery using a fifty X. order growth in this month and that that that that's not just the coastal city that stuff across the country and so I think everybody across the U. S. is either just you know they might just be learning about the services I think that might have been the issue for a lot of the the companies whether it's Amazon or Kroger or target or Walmart you know what you didn't even know this existed but these companies have been spending the past summer years working out the Kinks improvement technology where you can really just go on your smartphone a couple buttons and you know have something show up a couple hours later so that should that be part of a larger shift happening in all cities across country so is the question then I mean I guess if you are a market or your supermarkets is the question then whether or not you decide to grab this delivery for yourself or you just make alliances with and Instacart's or with some of the other third party delivery service yeah that's a good question and I think Instacart that's how that's why you've got to come so prevalent and popular today day ink these partnerships with a bunch of grocers who don't have the capabilities or knowledge or time and money to invest in the technology that makes it all happen and you know manage all the shoppers and so that's where the car has really taking advantage and really capture on the market but you know this survey did find that Amazon was the most you service I think sixty percent of the of the folks that they buy groceries online with Amazon compared to forty seven percent Walmart and so it's really interesting to watch Amazon step into the into the ring here and Amazon acquired whole foods now several years ago for almost fourteen billion dollars in that I had a lot of people scratching their heads and like a lot of things that Amazon does you start you're starting to see how that kind of fits into their project they this grand scheme where domination you know you get world domination Baxley where you get people are legal slash Donna that online grocery thing you know you have to be a prime member to use the online grocery service and then he became a prime member and you spend more on Amazon dot com you start.

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