Andreessen Horowitz’ Benedict Evans has seen the (near-term) future and it is egroceries.
From the slide show my favorite futurist delivered to venture capitalists last week at a16z‘s annual tech summit:
Close to three quarters of all the adults on earth now have a smartphone, and most of the rest will get one in the next few years. However, the use of this connectivity is still only just beginning. Ecommerce is still only a small fraction of retail spending, and many other areas that will be transformed by software and the internet in the next decade or two have barely been touched. Global retail is perhaps $25 trillion dollars, after all.
Meanwhile, as companies address more and more of this with software and the internet, they do it in new ways. We began with models that presumed low internet penetration, low speeds, little consumer readiness and little capital. Now all of those are inverted. So, we used to do apartment listings and now Opendoor will buy your home; we used to do restaurant reviews and now you can get a hot meal delivered to your door.
My take: None of this happens without internet-connected devices, and nobody makes them more profitably than Apple.