retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Nielsen is out with a new study saying that "one-quarter of global respondents say they are already ordering grocery products online for home delivery and more than half (55%) are willing to use it in the future.

Among the other findings:

• "Online shopping has a number of benefits, but physical stores also have strong key advantages over e-commerce—especially for fast-moving consumer goods. In fact, the majority of global respondents (61%) reported that going to the grocery store is an enjoyable and engaging experience. A similar percentage (57%) thinks grocery shopping in a retail store is a fun day out for the family."

• "Retailers have a lot of room to grow when it comes to in-store digital enablement options, such as mobile coupons, lists and shopping apps, and in-store Wi-Fi availability. Use of online or mobile coupons (18%) and mobile shopping lists (15%) are the most cited forms of in-store digital engagement in use today among global respondents, with about two-thirds willing to use them in the future (65% and 64%, respectively). Downloading a retailer/loyalty program app on a mobile phone to receive information or offers is used by 14% of global respondents, and 63% say they're willing to use one when it is available."

• "Mobile coupon usage is highest in North America (26%). European respondents have the lowest claimed usage levels for in-store digital engagement, but more than half (average 55%) say they are willing to try the options in the future."

• "30% of Millennials (ages 21-34) and 28% of Generation Z (ages 15-20) respondents say they're ordering groceries online for home delivery, compared with 22% of Generation X (ages 35-49), 17% of Baby Boomers (ages 50-64) and 9% of Silent Generation (ages 65+) respondents. Younger respondents are also the most willing to use all of the e-commerce options in the future."
KC's View:
I'm a big believer in the long-term potential of e-grocery, but even I have to point out that being willing to do something is not the same as actually doing something. So I tend to discount these willingness sentiments a bit ... broad movement to e-commerce in the grocery sector is only going to happen, I think, if retailers do their best to integrate the physical and virtual experiences, use both to build their broader brand message, and take ownership of it as best they can.

One other thing. I actually shop in a store designed to be "fun" - Stew Leonard's - but I have to admit that I'm a little skeptical about people who think that grocery shopping is a fun day out for the family. Because as pleasurable as Stew's is, it is a good day when I can get in and out in a half-hour. (Which I almost never do.)

But maybe ... just maybe ... since this is a global survey, it speaks to the power of a good retailing experience in places where people have fewer options than here. Maybe it speaks to the sense that stores, if they so desire, can provide a sense of community to people yearning for such a thing. Maybe.