For many consumers, online grocery shopping is the new normal

Many shoppers who started buying groceries online within the past two years said they will continue to do so in the next year, a new report said.
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Many consumers have gotten used to the idea of shopping online for groceries. The pandemic initiated another way of shopping, and now more than half of consumers consider online grocery shopping a new normal, according to the Online Grocery Landscape Report from global integrated sales and marketing services company Acosta.

Nearly 60% of consumers started buying groceries online in the past two years, and nearly one in five said they plan to continue online grocery shopping in the next year. Half of U.S. consumers said they have been occasionally buying online groceries, which is similar to online shopping behaviors in the fall of last year.

“More than half of American households are buying groceries online at least occasionally, compelling the need for retailers to provide more personalized and enhanced experiences around value, convenience, and food discovery in order to increase their share of omnichannel shoppers,” John Carroll, chief growth officer at Acosta, said in a press release.

Fifty-seven percent of online grocery shoppers said they shop with the same retailers online and in-store, which builds loyalty with customers, the report noted. It was also found that seven in 10 online pickup shoppers actually go into the store to pick up their orders, and then grab an item they may have forgotten, or make additional selections in person to purchase. This is a shopping behavior that can give retailers an opportunity to re-engage consumers in the store, said the report.

“Since most online grocery consumers shop the same retailers online and in-store, the brands and retailers that offer strong online and in-store shopping solutions are best positioned to win by nurturing even deeper consumer loyalty. And as wallets tighten due to inflation, and shoppers do more pre-shop planning online, an omnichannel focus becomes even more critical,” said Carroll.

Other data from the report revealed that although 46% of shoppers utilize retailer websites to place orders, there is a slower reception to retailer apps. More than a quarter of respondents said they do not currently use retailer apps.

Digital coupons are used by 80% of online shoppers, and younger shoppers are more likely to look for them while they shop. It was also discovered that many online grocery shoppers prefer shopping in-store for discount opportunities and new product discovery.

Regarding grocery delivery, Millennials use at-home delivery twice as much as Baby Boomers. And although grocery retailers are getting high points for shopper satisfaction, consumers still want reasonable delivery/pickup fees, and to be able to find deals and product availability in an easier way. As for subscriptions, nearly one-third of online grocery shoppers use them, mainly for pet needs and coffee/tea.

Acosta surveyed more than 750 U.S. online grocery shoppers across a range of age groups, behaviors and preferences in June of this year.



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