retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Acosta has released the preliminary findings of an Online Grocery Landscape Report, which it describes as "a new shopper insights study on the attitudes and preferences surrounding online grocery shopping habits," and concluding that "consistent with levels observed in fall 2021, half of U.S. shoppers are at least occasionally purchasing grocery items online."

The study goes on:

"More than half (57%) of online grocery shoppers say they stick with the retailers they shop in-store, thus providing omnichannel-focused retailers with a big advantage in building loyalty with consumers."

"A significant majority of online pickup shoppers (7 in 10) go into the store when picking up an order, mainly to grab a forgotten item or to pick out something personally. This shopping behavior presents an opportunity to re-engage the shopper in-store."

"Consumers are still experimenting and determining their preferred delivery fulfillment options, with only 57% using a single mode. Millennials are utilizing at-home delivery at nearly twice the rate of Baby Boomers."

"Nearly one-third of online grocery shoppers use subscriptions, with pet needs and coffee/tea at the top of the list."

"While 46% of shoppers utilize retailer websites to place orders, there is slow adoption to retailer apps with more than a quarter of respondents declaring that they currently do not use retailer apps."

"Digital coupons are embraced by 80% of online shoppers, with younger shoppers more likely to look for them while they shop."

"The balance between online and brick-and-mortar continues to evolve, with more online grocery shoppers preferring the in-store experience for discount opportunities and new product discovery."

KC's View:

Let's be clear - this study does not conflict with the story above about the troubles being experienced by express delivery companies whose 15-minute promises are being met with skepticism.

The really important thing to note in these results is that younger consumers tend to be experimenting and adopting more - and those shoppers in the future are likely to be the center of the target for many, if not most, retailers.  

The growth of this segment will come in fits and starts, because nothing ever is smooth.  Things like pandemics, inflation and recession come along and wreak havoc with carefully laid plans.  But make no mistake, younger folks are used to adopting behavior that suits the moment - it is about impulse, and immediate gratification.  That's what retailers have to be positioned to satisfy.

And then have to figure out how to make work financially.