How to seize the online grocery opportunity

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How to seize the online grocery opportunity


According to the U.S. Supermarket Shopper Digital Update, just 25 percent of shoppers say they are friends with or connected socially to their primary grocery store. Social media sites used most heavily by supermarket shoppers include Facebook (89 percent), YouTube (53 percent) Twitter (30 percent), Pinterest (29 percent) and Instagram (28 percent). 

"Closing the social media gap presents a real opportunity as many shoppers will change their behavior based on recommendations from their social network," said Brian Numainville, RFG Principal. "For example, our research shows that 45 percent of supermarket shoppers are very willing to make a new recipe or meal and 32 percent are very willing to purchase a new food item based on social network suggestions."

The report shows that more than half (56 percent) of supermarket shoppers interact with their primary food store on one or more digital platforms.  Among those who do, checking the digital circular is most prevalent (65 percent), followed by researching special promotions (48 percent) and building grocery lists (46 percent), among other activities. Millennials are interacting on digital platforms at a higher rate (66 percent) as compared to Boomers (47 percent). 

While 47 percent of shoppers indicate that their primary store has an app or mobile-enabled site, 44 percent were not sure (and an additional 10 percent said their primary store did not).  This finding clearly illustrates that retailers need to do a better job communicating with customers regarding the types of digital tools available.

In-store satisfaction, on a scale of one to five, registers at 4.39 for supermarkets. Only one type of more mature online shopping platform, general/specialty food websites offering delivery by mail or shipping company, currently surpasses this score with a 4.43.  However, online shopping formats such as online grocers with delivery and no physical stores (4.36), traditional grocers with delivery (4.35), and traditional grocers with pick up (4.25), all have ratings that are closing in on the rating in-store.

The RFG research was compiled via a nationally representative online survey with 1,200 supermarket shoppers (18+) throughout the United States, balanced by Census Region. The data was collected in the third quarter of 2016.