As a sign of the times where everything is seemingly on demand, the adoption of e-commerce in the food retail industry has skyrocketed over the past year. Online grocery platforms have helped retailers stay afloat and kept consumers at home stocked up with their groceries and other essentials.
In 2020, we have seen the promising value of e-commerce in our daily lives, most especially when buying groceries online. Fast forward to this year; it is expected that the adoption of e-commerce platforms will continue to rise.
Almost 60% of American consumers are now shopping for groceries online and according to a study by Incisiv (one of the leading insights firms for consumer Industry digital transformation), e-commerce grocery sales will make up 21.5% of the total grocery sales by 2025. These data give a unique opportunity for retailers to improve their e-commerce strategies this year and adopt various trends surrounding e-commerce in the food retail industry.
Here are some e-commerce trends that are shaping food retail today:
Cater to Hybrid Consumers
Omnichannel shopping is blurring the lines of customers who strictly shop online or in-store. Today, we have shoppers who are now considered hybrid customers—customers who shop both online and in-store—and retailers should focus on catering to these people. The fusion of online and in-store grocery shopping experiences has pushed retailers to develop e-commerce platforms alongside their brick-and-mortar stores to meet customers’ needs whenever and wherever.
Advancements of E-commerce Strategy
When it comes to reinforcing e-commerce strategies, retailers should be aggressive and innovative. Trends right now often include advancements, such as seamless integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to collect shopper data, and chatbots for a more personalized and improved shopping experience. Further enhancing technology centered around customer experience will influence and lead to bigger customer spends.
Seamless Online Shopping Experience
Nothing irks customers more than an e-commerce site that is unresponsive and not user-friendly. That’s why ensuring customers will have a seamless shopping experience from login to check out and on to fulfillment is not just a trend, but also a basic necessity. If customers find it difficult to navigate the e-commerce site or they have issues with orders and support, customers may abandon their carts and stop using the store’s e-commerce platform completely.
Using Data for Personalization
The strategic change from mass marketing to personalization will differentiate a retailer’s brand from the rest of the competition. Personalized orders, curated selections, offering unique products to customers, and developing membership programs help earn customer loyalty. Personalization using customer data wins big in the e-commerce grocery space.
There’s nothing quite like the times we are in. Though it is expected that online grocery shopping will be a permanent option for us to fulfill our shopping needs, e-commerce, in general, has paved opportunities for food retailers to innovate and focus on the important things—offering customers a more convenient and safer way to get their groceries.