What motivates consumers to buy their groceries online?
Consumers have always purchased their groceries from local supermarkets or convenience stores, however, the rise of online grocery services have changed this experience. As the market has seen an increase in online grocery channels over the last few years, many consumers’ method of grocery shopping has altered. Although, this new method of grocery shopping did not start off as a huge success, like originally predicted. In 2019, online grocery sales were estimated to reach $51.4 billion by 2020. According to IBISWorld, it was reported that in June 2019, only $35.2 billion sales were coming through online grocery channels.
With online grocery sales lower than originally estimated, the industry had to rethink: what would motivate customers to buy their groceries online, rather than in the supermarket? While the question proposed various strategies and ideas such as personalized recommendations or meal kits, sales still seemed to stay the same. It wasn’t until March of 2020 that online groceries started to skyrocket in sales. What was the reason for this? A national pandemic.
When COVID-19 started to spread over the nation, consumers were fearful to continue their normal grocery shopping behaviors in public. Due to the unforeseen future, and current circumstances, more consumers began to turn to online grocery services to buy their ingredients.
What the industry started to realize in the last few months, is that it became necessary, and almost required, to start shopping for groceries online. While many consumers have been using online services for years to buy products such as clothes and electronics, these aren’t necessary items.
On the other hand, groceries are necessary. Having food is essential, and must fulfill basic needs. What COVID-19 made us realize is that consumers don’t shop for online groceries because of fancy technology or a fun virtual experience. Instead, consumers choose online grocery channels versus supermarkets because it is quick, affordable, and reliable during trying times.
What do you like about buying your groceries online? What ideas would you suggest to make your experience better? Let us know in the comments below!
Article source: “What do consumers want from online grocery? The answer is simpler than you think”
by Hilliary Reeves