Study: Grocery retailers see potential digital sales passing them by


Grocery retailers can do more to optimize the digital shopping experience for customers – and get a better ROI for themselves.

The OSF Digital Grocery Omnichannel Retail Index 2022 (ORI), released Monday, found grocers are falling short in trying to get more into shoppers’ virtual shopping carts. For example, only 58% of grocery retailers recommend additional products in carts before checkout, up from 35% in 2019, although offering complementary products or popular items together can increase cart size and provide greater convenience for shoppers, in Quebec City OSF in the report noted.

In addition, grocers should give customers more leeway to change online cart quantity. Although all Grocery ORI grocery retailers allow customers to edit the quantity in their virtual shopping cart, only 20% offer the ability to move items from the cart to “Save for Later” status, while the acceptance rate in other retail verticals is 40% % lies. OSF’s research found that a “save for later” option allows customers to quickly return to a previously considered product and simply add it back to the cart instead of having to search for it.

OSF Digital

OSF Digital said its omnichannel digital experts sourced 50 North American grocery retailers — 45 national/regional grocery chains and five warehouse clubs and supercenters — for the third annual ORI study and evaluated them across more than 100 mobile, web and in-store purchases Criteria based on OSF’s experience and knowledge of current omnichannel best practices for the customer journey. The results were published in collaboration with FMI – The Food Industry Association and the National Retail Federation.

As the COVID-19 pandemic greatly accelerated consumer shifts to online, mobile and other digital channels, grocery retailers responded with significant omnichannel investments. The OSF study states that the implementation of best practice criteria has increased from 58% before the pandemic to 65% now. However, the study also revealed that most grocery retailers are lagging behind when it comes to developing integrated, seamless and personalized experiences across all channels.

“Grocery retailers suddenly had to become omnichannel masters in a short space of time, often having to cobble together multiple disparate programs and solutions to meet customer demands,” said Bernardine Wu, executive managing director of digital strategy at OSF Digital. “The latest Grocery Omnichannel Retail Index shows that there are fragmented shopping experiences and opportunities to develop a more seamless customer experience.”

For example, online consumers today expect product ratings and reviews when they shop. Yet only 28% of the grocery retailers surveyed offer ratings and reviews on their product detail pages and 20% on their category/product listing pages. Also, only 12% enabled review sorting on category/product listing pages.

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On the personalization front, many grocery retailers may be missing a clear opportunity to collect customer data by allowing shoppers to manage account panel preferences, e.g. B. what types of emails they receive and how often, preferred brands, dietary preferences, etc. The ORI report found that this simple feature can provide valuable information to ensure that communication with customers is highly relevant and on an individual basis is purposeful. Less than half (42%) of retailers surveyed offer advanced account settings, although that’s up from just 4% in 2019.

Other key findings from the ORI study were:

• 88% of grocery retailers offer both delivery and collection services, up from 11% in 2019 (pre-pandemic).

• 51% of retailers outsource grocery e-commerce and fulfillment (pickup and delivery) to a third party, and 49% manage digital commerce and fulfillment in-house.

• Only 32% of grocery retailers offer a threshold notification in the online shopping cart to highlight minimum order requirements for delivery and pickup or to promote free shipping.

• 69% allow customers to change their fulfillment choice at checkout (e.g., from delivery to pickup or vice versa).

• 67% offer shoppable digital flyers, but only 48% of retailers allow consumers to add products from online content to a virtual shopping cart.

• 76% let shoppers move items from a digital shopping list to their shopping cart, but only 28% allow shoppers to share their list with others in their household.

• Free shipping with a threshold is only offered by 17% of grocery retailers evaluated by the ORI – versus 79% in other industries – and 51% offer free shipping through a paid membership program.

“The Grocery Omnichannel Retail Index is an essential tool for grocery retailers, providing insights into how to put the customer at the heart of the experiences they create,” said Gerard Szatvanyi, CEO of OSF Digital. “It can be used to identify gaps in the customer experience to make shopping easier, drive conversion and increase loyalty.”


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