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Study reveals 36% of US consumers set to shop for groceries online

A new study has revealed that 36% of the consumers in the US will shop for groceries online, in other words, one in three consumers this year plans to shop online for groceries and that can as well be a wake-up call for the brick and mortar grocers sans e-commerce program, says a progressivegrocer.com report. Last year, 22% of those who actually bought their groceries online and this year’s 36% growth is a humongous increase of 64%, according to the new joint research from the Toronto-based e-commerce major Unata and the Atlanta-based order-fulfillment platform, ShopperKit. According to the report, the number has been consistently increasing over the years. For instance, when 8% shopped for groceries online back in 2015, it rose to 19% the following year.

New Trend

Stating that e-commerce is not just about delivery alone for those who shop online, the report goes on to add that while 40% of those who plan to shop online this year prefer delivery, 23% actually prefer click-and-collect, and 36% want both. Having both is increasingly critical, as, in 2017, 50% wanted delivery, 30% click-and-collect, and 20% both.

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Warning for Grocers sans Online Platform

Among consumers, one in five didn’t shop for groceries online in 2017 because their local grocer didn’t offer the option. While some retailers might believe that all of these shoppers will choose their physical store if not given an online option, data suggest otherwise: Some 58% of those who grocery shopped online in 2017 didn’t shop their local grocer, and 51% of those people didn’t shop online because their local grocer didn’t have an e-commerce program, noted the report.

“This is a missed opportunity,” the report notes. “The demand for online grocery shopping is growing, and fast. Just because grocers are not online doesn’t mean their shoppers aren’t, and by not offering e-commerce, those shoppers turn to the competition.” And it’s not enough to simply have an e-commerce program: Three in four online shoppers said that they would switch grocers if one offered a better digital shopping experience. This could include direct communication with in-store shoppers: One in three online shoppers said that they would switch grocers for the ability to communicate with their picker while they’re doing their shop, and one in two said that it’s important to them to be able to communicate with their picker in real time.

Tips for Retailers

Progressive Grocer recently found six other types of features and contents that food retailers can make use of to give their e-commerce platforms an edge. These consist of an exploration-focused landing page, shoppable recipes, nutritional data and ingredients, e-commerce-optimized photos, personalized suggestions, and guest checkout, added the report.

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