ECommerce trends: Stores remain relevant, while shoppers embrace digital

It's not hard to remember a time where grocers competed with other grocers, consumers made weekly trips to the store, and they could only find out what was on sale by checking out the circular. Those days are forever gone, as now grocers compete with everyone from drug to dollar to e-tailers. Younger generations have replaced weekly trips with more frequent stops at the store as well as making online ordering part of their routine. People can find out what is on sale on any given day, not just weekly, by engaging with digital media like mobile apps and retailer websites. Getting ahead of technology shifts that are impacting the various segments of your target audience can help inform strategy.

Increase in online purchases: Adoption of online shopping for consumables is on the rise. Twenty-six percent of respondents to our recent Shopper Insight Survey in August indicated they buy CPG items online. Only a year ago that number was 13%, according to our 2015 survey. So what is driving this behavior? One word: convenience — 40% of respondents indicated that ordering grocery items online saves time. In fact, one in four 21-29 year olds think buying groceries online is more convenient than going in-store.

Mobile creating a stir: How are people engaged while they are shopping? Judging from the number of instances where people are trying to walk down an aisle and it's being blocked by someone on their phone, there is a lot of opportunity in mobile marketing. Market Track's survey indicated the younger end of the demographic scale is most heavily participating, with 34% of 21-29 year olds indicating they are using their smartphone while grocery shopping. Most said they are either looking for additional discounts or checking their list. The power of being able to message them while in the store can provide a competitive advantage.

Bonus—mobile causes unplanned purchases: Over 60% of respondents indicated that a mobile offer has caused them to alter course in their shopping journey, changing what they bought or where they shopped. The confluence of the digital and physical realms allows for in-the-moment tactics that can create opportunity.

If there were no difference in price and if it was available in your area, for your grocery purchases, which option do you most prefer?

Have you ever ordered groceries online to be delivered?

What would cause you to shop more for groceries online?

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