Best Grocery E-Commerce Services Revealed
Global research firm Ipsos has released the “E-Commerce Experience Report,” an inaugural mystery shopping study on buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), curbside, and delivery offerings of major retailers nationwide, which found that Aldi, H-E-B, Kroger, Target, Sam’s Club, Walmart and Whole Foods Market had the best programs in these areas.
The two-pronged study first surveyed 2,000 Americans to understand usage, attitudes and perceptions of consumers regarding pickup and first-party delivery of products from retailers in the current retail environment, and then conducted thousands of mystery shops to gauge the performance of brands nationwide and regionally on pickup and delivery attributes. Through the consumer portion of the research, Ipsos discovered that the biggest drivers of curbside and in-store pickup were having a designated pickup location, easy online account creation, providing contactless order pickup, and orders being ready when promised.
“Use of BOPIS and curbside pickup has increased for 78% of shoppers since COVID-19 began, and 69% expect to continue using it at the same or higher levels after the pandemic subsides,” noted Carlos Aragon, VP of U.S. channel performance at Paris-based Ipsos. “As we continue to see the adoption and usage of these new digital offers rise and continue to stick, it is important that brands have the mechanism to ensure they deliver a seamless and safe customer experience for these new users. The Ipsos E-Commerce Experience Report allows retailers to better understand how to cater to customers in an increasingly virtual/touchless world.”
The top brands in BOPIS in the grocery category were:
- Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart, which performed the strongest across all measured attributes. Most notably, the retailer excelled at posting visible signage directing consumers to the grocery pickup area at 86% of locations audited.
- Minneapolis-based Target, which performed exceptionally well in the categories surveyed and had grocery orders ready when promised at 98% of visited locations.
The top brands in curbside pickup in the grocery category were:
- Walmart division Sam’s Club, which came in first with a near-perfect performance, notably for providing designated curbside parking at 100% of locations audited.
- Cincinnati-based Kroger, which was a close second in the categories that customers said they cared about most, and had orders ready when promised at 97% of locations.
The top brands in delivery in the grocery category were:
- San Antonio-based H-E-B, which ranked first for its 99% accuracy rate on delivery orders.
- Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods, with a 95% order accuracy rate.
- Batavia, Illinois-based Aldi, which performed well across the board, predominantly excelling at providing delivery notifications on 95% of orders.
Ipsos noted that as e-commerce continues to grow, retailers must ensure that consumers have a positive end-to-end experience. Across the board, customers look for clear communication, according to the research firm, but more than a quarter of all pickup and delivery shoppers believe that there’s room for improvement in this area. The research also uncovered order accuracy and well-marked, easy-to-find BOPIS locations as important e-commerce elements for retailers to focus on.
Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Walmart-owned Sam's Club ranks No. 9 on the list, and Kroger, Target, H-E-B, Whole Foods and Aldi U.S. are Nos. 3, 7, 17, 24 and 26, respectively.