Slow to adopt before the pandemic, grocery e-commerce is now growing rapidly—especially for the next generation. Hero Digital, an independent digital transformation company, on Dec. 16 released the Consumer Goods Truth & Beauty Index. Buying groceries online is becoming “second nature” for many consumers, the report reveals, and it forecasts a 21% growth of e-commerce grocery sales for 2022.
The report includes 2,300 customer responses and said “online grocery shopping, home delivery and click-and-collect services are taking over large shares of the market as legacy companies race to keep up with new category leaders.”
Takeaways from four generations—Gen Z, millennials, Gen X and baby boomers—the report shows what drives both brand choice and customer advocacy in three industry subsectors: grocery, apparel and mass merchandise.
The report finds that “millennials value easy shopping experiences, outstanding customer service and relevant product selection.” And in the grocery sector, buying groceries online for this generation is mostly online. In fact, “43% of millennials shop for most of their groceries online, or as much as they do in-store.”
According to the report, “50% of Gen Z consumers rank value and brand stature as top customer experience attributes when recommending a business, while 20% of boomers rank empowerment and disruption as top customer experience attributes when recommending a brand.”
Owen Frivold, EVP of strategy for Hero Digital, said in a statement, "Digital services are now the default touchpoint for consumer goods brands, and omnichannel customer experiences impact brand loyalty across generations."
In the report, each industry subsector and generation has unique customer experience priorities. For grocery consumers, the report said what matters most is an easy shopping experience. In today’s grocery consumer landscape, "shoppers value trustworthy brands that make shopping easy with both in-store interactions and online experiences." And by “meeting essential customer truths, grocery leaders increase brand ratings significantly,” the report said.
Looking ahead, Frivold said that "to succeed, companies must connect with the next wave of consumers on a human level, and this report provides them with a strategy for accomplishing that."