As many as 31% of U.S. shoppers are likely to order groceries online in 2017, up 63% from the 19% that did so in 2016, according to a report from Unata. In addition to adding new customers, online grocers are retaining many existing ones: 80% of those who shopped online for groceries in 2016 say they would do so again in 2017.
With the growing popularity of online grocery shopping, retailers must adapt fast or they’ll be left in the dust. In fact, 68% of consumers who shopped online last year said that they are ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ likely to switch grocers to one with a better online shopping experience.
The Unata report, titled: The 2017 Grocery eCommerce Forecast, recommends that retailers provide five services to establish a premier digital grocery experience in 2017:
Easy-to-find products and deals. In 2016, 50% of all shoppers who never made a second online grocery order said it was because they couldn’t easily find the products they were looking for;
Personalized offers, sales and product suggestions:31% said they would switch grocers for personalized offers based on what they buy;
A digital weekly ad:30% said they would enjoy viewing the weekly ad online in 2017;
Digital coupons: 29% of shoppers said they would enjoy browsing and clipping digital coupons online in 2017; and
Faster delivery and pickup options.
In addition to providing these services, retailers still need to improve their marketing of online grocery services if they want to maximize these programs’ exposure. Of those consumers who didn’t shop online, 41% said that they did not know if their grocers offered it.
Although online grocery shopping has become more commonplace, 23% of shoppers reported that their current grocer does not offer an online buying option. Yet 36% of this group said they are likely to order online in 2017, meaning that they will shop online with another grocer.