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Convenience Really Is Driving More Digital Grocery Orders

Consumer research from Chicory also shows that consumers are regularly adding to their digital carts
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Chicory Infographic
Chicory's most recent online survey showed that consumers like the ease and accessibility of online grocery shopping.

While the desire to avoid COVID-19 was an early driver, convenience is behind most of today’s online buying behaviors, according to a new survey.  In its poll of 1,000 U.S. shoppers, digital shopper marketing platform Chicory found that 46% of consumers cited convenience as a main reason for buying groceries online, while only 10% attributed their e-commerce choices to health and safety concerns. The second leading driver – perhaps also tied to convenience, as supply chain snags make headlines – is product availability.

Chicory’s survey showed some increasingly entrenched habits, with nearly three in four (72%) shoppers saying that they have bought groceries online in the past 90 days and 52% responding that they place digital orders at least once a week.

As consumers settle into their e-commerce ways, many of them are adding items to their digital carts a few times a week. “This suggests that shoppers are spending more time browsing online and may be more likely to use online carts to build their shopping lists, regardless of where they complete their purchases. This increase in add-to-cart frequency is a big win for brands,” the researchers noted in their report. “Of shoppers who reported adding groceries to their cart daily, 90% reported placing an online order at least weekly. The more brands can inspire a shopper to add items to cart, the more likely they are to see returns.”

The survey uncovered some additional insights into the value of online shoppers as they come out of the COVID-related haze of frequent uncertainty. More than a third of survey participants said that they spend $100 or more on an online order, up nearly 16% from 2021. Also, of the 50% of respondents who said they shell out between $50 and $100 on their online grocery orders, 60% reported that they place an order at least once a week.

So what’s in those digital carts? According to this survey, pantry staples and supplies make up 32.7% of orders, followed by dairy or meat at 18%, snacks at 17.6%, produce at 16.6%, specialty items at 7.5% and household goods also at 7.5%.

To encourage shoppers to place items across categories into their carts, retailers and marketers can get the most engagement out of ads with relevant content, Chicory’s report pointed out. The ad platform’s survey found that digital recipes are the third most popular place where shoppers buy grocery products from a shoppable ad, behind coupon and retailer sites.

"The results of this latest survey reaffirm that digital grocery is here to stay, as consumers continue to prioritize convenience and simplicity," said Chicory CEO and co-founder Yuni Sameshima. "Brands looking to reach today's grocery shopper in high-intent moments need to be investing in solutions that will extend the on-site experience to off-platform locations like digital recipes."

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