How to win the on-demand grocery delivery battle

4 strategies for firms to gain a competitive advantage in what is becoming a highly saturated grocery delivery space in the UK

Jiten Chablani
5 min readSep 14, 2021


It’s no secret that grocery delivery has radically altered the online food landscape. Covid19 has instigated trend shifts in online shopping, convenience, and consumer behaviour, leading to large scale changes in the way groceries are purchased.

VCs are backing e-grocery start-ups to tackle the biggest challenges consumers have faced early in the pandemic, including long queues to get into grocery stores; limited availability of delivery slots; expensive fees for online delivery (up to £6 per slot in some cases); and the need to plan ahead several weeks in advance. This has led to soaring investment across Europe, with the sector attracting €700m in Q1 2021 alone, and producing 2 unicorns — Getir and Gorillas (Sifted).

But as competition emerges, what does it take to win in this highly saturated space?


Solidify cash inflow to secure headroom

Good cash management can make or break a business. Due to the disruptive nature of the market, there’s a huge opportunity to grab share as most firms are in the early stages of the lifecycle. Therefore, most firms will prioritise growing their customer base over profitability so that they can beat competitors to share gain. In order to grow, they need large amounts of cash, therefore a positive net cash flow is the most important concern.

How can firms secure cash inflow?

  • Selling more. This means increasing investment in sales, marketing and product to generate…



Jiten Chablani

Strategy @ BT Group. I explore economics, innovation and growth strategy in the tech industry. Views are my own.