Online ordering & delivery built for independent grocers

  • Increase your sales by 23% or more
  • Get your entire store online - we do the heavy lifting!
  • Compete against grocery chains and win
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Join 650+ independent grocers who are growing their businesses online

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How technology has evolved grocery

Pre-1800s
Pre-1800s

Public Markets

Amongst butcher shops and produce stands, public markets have existed for as long as humans have engaged in trade. Shops would cluster together for convenience forming what we today call marketplaces. From covered to open-air, markets... around the world have evolved differently based on climate, culture, and tradition. In many countries, shopping the local market is still a standard feature of daily life.

Pre-1900s
Pre-1900s

Specialty Stores

Prior to the 1900s, consumers predominantly purchased food from specialty stores. These vendors specialized in the sale of items within a specific category such as dairy, meat, fish, produce or dry goods. As an increasing number of staple foods became available... in cans and other less-perishable packaging, vendors expanded their product selection. Most of these stores were small, occupying of less than 1,000 square feet.

1912
1912

Cash 'n Carry

In 1912, A&P developed economy stores, which did for groceries what Henry Ford's Model-T did for automobiles - standardization and scale. With a focus on dry goods, cash-and-carry stores purchased items in bulk such as spices, cocoa, tea, and coffee... Prior to this, stores offered credit to their customers, allowing families to buy staples until their harvest sold. By abandoning delivery and scaling back on credit, A&P converted groceries to a cash-and-carry business.

1916
1916

Self-Service

Clarence Saunders opened the first self-service store, Piggly Wiggly, in Memphis in 1916. This model incorporated refrigerator cases throughout the store, elaborate aisles, price-marked items, shopping baskets, and checkouts at the front. With the... ability to use refrigerator cases, milk and butter became common staples. Saunders redesigned how customers shopped by methodically arranging products to appeal to impulses - for example, putting candy at the checkout. He also gave customers the ability to price compare different brands. Previously customers handed clerks a grocery list, but now customers had choices, and products sold themselves. Thus beginning the origin of branding.

1919-1930
1919-1930

Chain Stores

By 1919, A&P had well over 4,224 chain stores. A&P largely expanded as the commercial radio became popular and were quick to utilize this new medium to entice shoppers to visit each store. This is where the A&P Gypsies rose to fame with tea dances and... coffee samples as the crowds danced to gypsy music. The increased usage of refrigeration and added benefit of air-conditioning allowed stores to offer produce, meat, and fish.

1930-1950
1930-1950

Supermarkets

As automobiles and highways grew, families began to leave cities and settle down in the suburbs. Michael Cullen unveiled his supermarket concept in 1930: larger stores in suburbs, separated departments, discounted pricing, national marketing, volume... selling, and most importantly, the addition of parking lots. These stores were much larger in size and home refrigeration and freezers encouraged shoppers to purchase more per trip. From produce and meat to pantry staples, its high volume allowed for steeper discounts to consumers. Brands utilized television and advertising to build awareness and further coin the concept of TV dinners.

1990-2017
1990-2017

E-Commerce

The internet revolutionized how consumers shop, allowing them to search through a large database of products and services from the comfort of their home. Major chains with a number of physical stores felt the impact of e-commerce, such as... Sports Authority, Ames Department Store, Blockbuster, and Borders. Initially, it appeared as though consumers would never shop online for clothing, let alone food. However in 2018, the online grocery market consisted of $17.5 billion in sales. Online ordering is a battleground for grocery. It is crowded with chains like Walmart, Target, and Amazon-owned Whole Foods.

2018 & Beyond
2018 & Beyond

Online Marketplaces

92% of consumers use marketplaces to book hotels, find flights, and even order food. Why? Marketplaces remove friction that exists offline. It enables you to tap into a digitized workforce, larger audience, and market at scale, which is largely... different than managing your own online presence. Successful stores will continue to own their business and brand online, but also gain exposure and sales from the traffic found on online marketplaces. Marketplaces are all about strength in numbers; this is as true for online as it is for real world examples like farmer's markets and food halls.

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We empower you with e-commerce, delivery, marketing, service, and more.

E-Commerce

E-Commerce

Built for flexibility & control.

E-Commerce

Online ordering that integrates with your operational workflow. From managing order lead time to throttling volume, create a system that fits the way you work. More importantly, you'll never leave dollars on the table with our fulfillment process.

Delivery

Delivery

You deliver or we deliver - we've got you covered!

Delivery

Outsource convenience through Mercato's national courier network (10+ miles) and/or manage your own deliveries and charge by zip code. *Spoiler Alert* customers are very generous with their tips!

Marketing

Marketing

Harness the power of the marketplace.

Marketing

Profile existing customers, build brand awareness to acquire new ones, and maximize the lifetime value of each customer. Through targeted advertising on Google and Facebook, Email and SMS retention campaigns, and Mercato-funded promo codes - we track which channels perform best.

Service

Service

Focus on the benefits, we'll handle the headaches.

Service

We monitor each order, delivery, and take care of payments or refunds while you focus on what matters most - your store. Utilize Mercato's Feedback Loop to stay connected to your loyal customers and learn what new customers want!

Order Management Software

Order Management Software

Centralize your phone, email, and online orders.

Order Management Software

Long gone is the scramble across phone, email, online and in-store orders. Simply input the customer's information, order details, and payment information (cash or credit) for pick-up or delivery - we'll keep you organized in one place.

Secret Ingredient (Customization)

Secret Ingredient (Customization)

Your store is unique. Your online store should be too.

Secret Ingredient (Customization)

Whether your products are homemade or seasonal, for catering or weekly discounts, Mercato enables you to customize your offering and seamlessly integrate with your POS. No POS? No problem. We work with you directly to create an online experience consistent with in-store.

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Recipe for success

23% Increase in sales

$86.50 Average order value

10+ Mile delivery radius

650+ Independent grocers

The secret is out - independents love Mercato.

Merchant

Mercato made the daunting task of creating an online shop easy. They have been fantastic partners with great customer service.

Butterfield Market

New York, NY

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Merchant

We'd been doing delivery on our own but Mercato helped us offer it 7 days a week without breaking the bank.

3 Guys from BK

Brooklyn, NY

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Merchant

Mercato increased our order frequency for customers that couldn't come to our store regularly.

The Lobster Place

New York, NY

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Merchant

We used to be on Instacart, but it continued to be a problem for us. Our inventory was never accurate, and customers shopping our page would get redirected to other chain stores.

Local Foods

Chicago, IL

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Merchant

The neighborhood is getting younger and more people are getting online - Mercato gave me insight into who was shopping my online store and how to attract more new customers like them.

Commodities Natural Market

New York, NY

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Merchant

Over the past year, the Reading Terminal Market has been searching for an online shopping and delivery solution that meets the unique needs of a 125-year old institution with nearly 80 small, family-owned businesses under one roof. Mercato ultimately offered us everything we were looking for, and we could not be more excited with the launch of our partnership, but the anticipation with which it will grow as well. Our customers now have an accessible, convenient and seamless opportunity to frequent the Reading Terminal Market when they can't get here.

Reading Terminal Market

Philadelphia, PA

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We're a grocery company that builds tech, not a tech company that builds grocery software.

After bootstrapping a tech company started in his college dorm room to $85M in sales and selling it, our CEO, Bobby Brannigan went back to his roots to help his dad get his independent grocery store online. This was when he realized the challenge independent grocers face in creating an online experience consistent with in-store. Bobby is taking on the grocery chains to support the industry he grew up in with what he's learned, and his passion for helping the little guy compete.

That's me!
Bobby and family