It’s no secret that our tech-dependent lifestyles have caused profound changes in both the professional and private spheres. The Wi-Fi-enabled gadgets we now take for granted have entirely transformed the way we interact with friends and family, consume news and—perhaps most importantly—purchase goods and services.
Retailers and brands have been quick to meet this growing consumer demand, but when it comes to the grocery world, many businesses have lagged behind.
However, if there was ever any doubt as to whether there was sufficient demand for grocery eCommerce, new research puts an end to any hesitations and provides answers to the question that’s currently top of all retailers’ minds: Should we be selling our products online?
Mercatus released the results from a recent survey in a report entitled Insights into Grocery eCommerce 2016. The report identifies critical trends in grocery eCommerce and key findings about consumer preferences, and was based on Mercatus’ research surveying 1197 female shoppers across the United States about their grocery shopping habits.
The research indicates that consumer readiness for grocery eCommerce has reached an all-time high, and suggests that, in order to meet shoppers’ evolving desires and to encourage brand loyalty in today’s competitive marketplace, grocers must adapt their products and services to align with the digital era.
A Rising Trend Towards Grocery eCommerce
The study revealed that consumers are more ready than they’ve ever been to purchase their groceries online. The majority (97%) of respondents had purchased goods online, and most (89%) buy goods or services online at least once a month.
Generation X, or those aged 40-60, were the most prolific online shoppers—something to keep in mind for grocers looking to please those tech-savvy customers.
When it comes to online grocery shopping, nearly half of those surveyed (49%) said they were interested in being able to order groceries online. These shoppers ranked the following as the most important features for online grocers:
Method of Delivery Wide Open for Development
Another interesting insight the survey revealed is that shoppers are open to a variety of ways to receive their groceries ordered online: 70% are interested in home delivery, with 63% willing to pay up to $10 for the service.
What’s more, nearly 60% of respondents expressed an interest in click-and-collect shopping services, with almost a third of respondents (33%) willing to pay for the convenience of having their grocery order picked and packed by a personal shopper, ready for pick-up at their favorite store location. When asked how much they would consider paying for this service, nearly 70% suggested they would pay at least $5.
“The data shows that today’s grocery store shoppers have put a premium on technology and services that help them save time and minimize effort when it comes to shopping,” says Sylvain Perrier, President and CEO of Mercatus. “This means grocers have tremendous opportunity to capture market share if they are willing to invest in digital solutions to serve that need.”
Other key findings from the report include:
- Females remain the primary shopper for the majority of U.S. households.
- Surge in growth of single-person households in the U.S.
- Your customers, regardless of age, are online, consider themselves to be technologically savvy, and are making more digital purchases than ever before.
- There is considerable consumer demand for grocery chains that can provide personal shopping and packing services, along with direct-to-vehicle delivery.
- Consumers are willing to order groceries from locations other than their favorite store for the convenience of click-and-collect shopping.
These insights confirm the realities of the digital age and prove that in order to keep up in the digital epoch, grocers must be where their customers are.
To read Insights into Grocery eCommerce 2016 in full, click here.