Technology is becoming a major part of food shopping, and both supermarkets and c-stores are starting to realize the power of digital integration.
Four out of 10 grocery shoppers currently shop at more than one online grocery store, and more than 60% of Americans who don't yet shop online are willing to explore a new grocer when they do, according to a study from RichRelevance. When choosing which retailer to shop with, the top features that would push consumers to shop more online range from presenting frequently bought items, favorites, alternatives, suggestions to complete a meal and personalized apps/pages.
Not surprisingly, Amazon has quite a lead when it comes to online grocery shopping. RichRelevance found Amazon attracts twice as many shoppers as traditional supermarkets and big box retailers, and four times as many as wholesale clubs.
Online grocery shopping has yet to cause the widespread disruption that is expected from the category. A majority of Americans have yet to shop online for any type of grocery, and of those who do, 60% say they only shop rarely. Sixty-two percent of consumers spend less when they shop online, and 4 in 10 report that fewer impulse buys is one of the biggest advantages of shopping online.
Michael Ni, CMO of RichRelevance, makes a good point about capturing the e-commerce grocery shopper: "Grocers need to learn from the early mistakes of traditional retailers and not simply try to compete with Amazon on convenience, but focus on the new opportunity that online shopping provides."
Convenience stores have not made quite the investment in online shopping that supermarkets have, as much of the appeal of c-stores is its immediacy. However, c-stores have been leveraging their inherent convenience and boosting technology as a way to increase brick-and-mortar appeal. In its State of the Industry report, Koupon Media notes c-stores remain one of the only brick-and-mortar retail categories expected to grow, as an increase in online spending is expected to take a toll on share of wallet dedicated to grocery retailers.
C-stores and CPG companies are beginning to leveraging mobile offers as a crucial marketing tool, as a way to engage with busy shoppers and tailor offers in real time to customers based on past purchases, location or time of day. Millennials account for over one-third of all c-store shoppers, with 16% visiting a convenience store daily. Their trips are heavily influenced by digital and 84% of the generation use their phones in store for shopping assistance.
Koupon Media predicts c-stores will accelerate their pursuit of new technologies in 2018, and store quality and fresh food will increase in priority. It expects c-store marketers to further their use of personalization capabilities and to leverage mobile rebate technologies to engage consumers. It also forecasts c-store operators will distribute more content through social, SMS and media channels to drive traffic and boost sales.
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Jennette has been with The Food Institute since 2013. As Marketing Director, she is responsible for promoting all Food Institute books, seminars and webinars, as well as writing and editing the Food Institute’s annual publications. Additionally, she writes for and edits the daily news update, Today in Food, and contributes to the biweekly Food Institute Report. She has a background in non-profit and environmental marketing, programming and writing, and graduated from Rowan University in 2012 with a degree in Communication Studies.
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