Online Grocery Shopping Opportunities
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
In the retail environment, technology is changing e-commerce and will continue to do so. Experts estimate that more than 70 percent of the population will be ordering food online within 10 years but it’s important to know which shoppers are leading the way so you can use your expertise to provide online shopping solutions.
According to the U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends Report, 2019 (FMI), frequent online shoppers are males, Millennials, Gen X, parents and college-educated. They also have a higher household income, live in urban areas and are from the south. Another important finding is that online shoppers typically spend more and also shop in store. They are valuable customers!
Demonstrate your understanding of online shopping needs by providing relevant information to help keep online shoppers loyal while driving an increase in basket size. Here are some considerations:
- Personalize the online shopping experience. Ensure nutrition attribute callouts are included in the online shopping environment to meet your customer’s need for specific dietary plans.
- Flag better-for-you options. If you utilize digital coupons, flag the healthier products with your wellness logo or icon paying special attention to your own brand items. This “suggestive selling” can help you extend your efforts outside of the store to help shoppers build a healthier cart and provides you with a metric for measuring product movement.
- Partner up. Work with meat, poultry and seafood commodity groups to suggest simple, seasonal digital recipes or educational meal prep videos. You can also partner with vendors to create food boxes that meet target audience needs – better-for-you snacks, infant/toddler feeding, gluten-free products, etc.
- Promote produce. Work with produce merchandisers to develop seasonal weekly produce boxes for pickup or delivery. Include educational information highlighting nutrition benefits, storage tips and suggested recipes.
- Family meal ideas. A lot of parents are using the convenience of online shopping. Provide a link to a weekly family meal plan with a shopping list. This service is sure to drive added sales for meal components along with customer loyalty.
- Highlight what’s new. Millennials and Gen Xers are interested in exploring global flavors and exciting new products. Have a featured product(s) of the week with a brief explanation promoting the attributes or uses. For example, Nestle recently launched their new Sweet Earth™ and Wildscape™ brands of unique meal options with better-for-you ingredients. Many shoppers will appreciate knowing about these new options in your freezer case.
- Understand the needs of male online shoppers. There are more men living alone, leading single-adult homes with children, or fully sharing family responsibilities. According to Inmar Analytics, many male shoppers are embracing the convenience of online shopping and are interested in meal-planning services, quick “assembly” ideas and meal kits.
If you haven’t met with your e-commerce team this may be the time to “professionally insert” yourself into their meetings. They may not be fully aware of the expertise and insights you bring to the table to help drive business success.