Chris Bryson writes for ProgressiveGrocer.com, looking at why retailers need to embrace eGrocery today and why eCommerce is essential for grocers’ continued success.
2016 is going to be the year where we start to see a major divide between the eCom-haves and eCom-have-nots for grocery retailers.
Grocers who have invested in an eCom solution will start to see increased shopper spend, acquisition, and retention. Grocers who have not will see the opposite.
In partnership with Environics Research, Unata surveyed over 500 online shoppers across the U.S. to determine market demand for online grocery shopping in 2016. The findings prove, unequivocally, that eCom is going to be essential for a grocer’s continued success.
Here are 3 reasons why…
1) Shoppers are already taking their money elsewhere.
According to the survey results, 40% of those who shopped online for groceries in the last year said their primary grocer did not offer online ordering. In other words, they had to go elsewhere for their online purchases, meaning if your customers can’t shop online with you, they will shop online with someone else.
2) Online shoppers are your most valuable customers. You don’t want to lose them.
From the survey results, we know that the online shopper in 2016 is more affluent ($100K+ income) and likely has children in their household: “consumers are twice as likely to buy groceries in the coming year if they have children”. As we all know, the more income and the larger the household, the larger the purchases.
In addition, Walmart reported that shoppers who used a combination of curbside pickup and in-store shopping spent 65% more than those who shopped in-store only ($2,500 vs. $1,400), proving that the most valuable shopper is the one that uses the retailer for both online and in-store purchases.
Yet another big proof point that offering eCom is key to your success.
3) eCom is key for customer attraction and retention
eGrocery sales are predicted to increase 21.1% annually through 2018, compared to 3.1% for physical supermarkets, according to recent BI Intelligence research. These numbers indicate there will be a lot of net new online grocery shoppers over the next two years, creating more online customers for you to attract.
From the research, we know that an exceptional eCom experience is the best way to attract them: 16% of shoppers are willing to switch grocers for a better online experience, with that number QUADRUPLING to 64% for those customers that have tried online grocery shopping before.
Yes, once they’ve experienced the wonders of eCom, it becomes just as important as distance or price – so you need to offer eCom before your competition does, and you need to do it well.
eGrocery is growing incredibly quickly, likely to reach double digit penetration in 2016, and the online shopper is extremely valuable to your business. However, we’ve learned that the online shopper also greatly values a strong digital experience, and will switch grocers for one.
Grocers who don’t immediately embrace this shift in shopper behaviour by offering a compelling eCom experience stand to lose share of wallet, as well as the opportunity for new revenue, new customer acquisition and customer retention.