Online Grocery Shopping Delivery
What to Know and Expect
Many are considering online grocery shopping the next frontier in e-commerce. More than ever, grocery stores are investing time and money into delivery, pick up, and drop shipping. The real question is, is this change what the consumer wants? According to industry news outlets Brick Meets Click and Mercatus, $7.2 billion was spent online grocery shopping in June 2020. Despite the United States slowly re-opening up stores, Americans have no desire to go back to shopping in-person. 45.6 million households in June of 2020 shopped online for their groceries compared to the 16.1 million customers whom grocery shopped online in August of 2019, totaling only $1.2 billion in sales. The question is, are these online grocery shoppers merely a product of the Covid 19 pandemic, or are they here to stay?
Of the new influx of online grocery shoppers, 44% of households claimed that they had "high levels" of concern contracting the coronavirus as the main reason they were online shopping. Though more grocery retailers are investing time and money in online shopping, the market has become saturated. The data shows that it is more difficult for services to attract repeat usage. Though consumers are using online grocery shopping consistently, they are not always using the same store. The problem now becomes, how will grocery stores keep their consumers returning week to week. The suggestion is to keep investing in their online infrastructure. Making the process seamless is the best way to keep the consumer returning to your store.
Tips to Keep the Transition from In-store to Online Grocery Seamless:
Keep Buyers on your Site
Nothing is considered more annoying or confusing to a consumer than redirecting them to a different site during their order's delivery step. Sometimes, stores cannot use their current website to help buyers shop for at-home delivery. When this issue arises, brands can remedy any confusion by ensuring that customers fully understand the delivery process with clear branding and detailed verbiage hosted on the third-party site.
Offer Home Deliveries and Curbside Pick-up
Due to Covid 19 changing buyer habits away from in-person grocery shopping, having multiple options for your customers to get their essentials helps the customer feel both more in control and trustworthy of your brand. When choosing to deliver groceries to your customers, consider utilizing dropshipping to avoid expensive shipping rates, keep items temperature-controlled, and help get purchased items delivered faster. Since most grocery retailers can only offer at-home delivery to customers within a specific mile radius of their store, having a second option of curbside pick-up provides the same convenience and health-safety benefits to your customers.
Keep Customers Up-to-date on Orders
Keeping customers informed of the order process helps ensure that your store is actively invested in your customer's purchase. Examples of order updates include:
When an order is submitted and accepted by the store;
When an employee begins shopping;
When there are problems such as "out of stock items."
When you have open communication lines, it will help build trust and loyalty among your consumers.
Offer Loyalty Rewards
Most grocery stores offer some form of rewards program. One way to elevate and encourage consumers to shop online is to provide extra rewards for online shoppers through these programs. Ideas of loyalty rewards can range from online-only discounts to additional points given per purchase. Even offering free shipping exclusive to members is a great way to show appreciation to your customers.
Marketing Tip: Offer Pre-built Food Packages for All Levels of Cooks
Nothing makes a consumer more frustrated than shopping for a specific recipe and forgetting that one ingredient. Try offering helpful, pre-built recipe bundles with all ingredients for a meal to make family dinner that much easier! Having a variety of these bundles available each week is a great way to repeatedly have consumers choose you.
Only time will tell if consumers will go back to shopping in the future. But, as grocery stores continue to invest in the infrastructure of online shopping, the hope is that it only continues to grow. Making the experience as seamless and painless as possible will only help consumers realize how much time is saved by shopping for groceries online.