The pandemic pushed grocery retailers to offer online ordering—and now that today’s consumers increasingly expect multichannel shopping options, operators must evolve to expand and enhance the online shopping experience.
Timing is of the essence because digital grocery shopping is expanding faster than in-store shopping. According to Insider Intelligence, digital will account for 11.2% of the $1.32 trillion produced in U.S. grocery sales this year, for a total of $147.8 billion.1
That’s just the beginning. Orders made through online channels—click and collect, delivery, or digital grocery—are projected to achieve double-digit gains. By 2025, U.S. sales of online orders are on a pace to exceed $243 billion.2
The Key Ingredient: Cater to Convenience
The steady growth of grocery e-commerce points to a meaningful and enduring shift in consumer preferences.
In a survey conducted by Chicory, 56% of respondents indicated that they order groceries online more than they did a year ago, citing convenience as the top factor driving their behavior.3 Nineteen percent said they choose their favorite stores based on a great mobile app experience.4
As more people return to offices, travel experiences, and social engagements, online grocery offers a way to save time. And for an on-the-go consumer, time is money.
The 3 C’s of a Successful Omnichannel Strategy
Working with a partner like Uber Eats, grocery retailers can transition customers from physical to online stores in a way that feels both seamless and intuitive. This is possible through products and features that prioritize the 3 C’s: convenience, control and confidence.
Let’s break this down:
It’s clear that convenience is what consumers crave. They want an easy and flexible online shopping experience that saves time and delivers what they need, when they need it. Meet the needs of busy customers with a delivery partner who caters to convenience by:
- Offering closed-store shopping. The most ideal time for some customers to shop may not be during normal business hours. Allowing customers to shop online at any time and schedule orders for delivery can help retailers capture more orders while giving customers more flexibility.
- Expanding your coverage. Sometimes the need for groceries is now. In that case, you need a partner with a large network and footprint to make speedy deliveries in as little as one hour.
Convenience includes many factors, one of which is control. Consumers want control over managing their orders in real time. Here are a couple of ways to put consumers in the driver’s seat on grocery delivery orders:
- Allow consumers to select substitutions. Sometimes the exact item selected may not be available; however, there should be other options available to complete the online order. For those occasions, features that allow consumers to approve or reject substitutions through the delivery app help avoid incomplete orders or unwanted items.
- Provide order tracking. Nothing says control like keeping tabs on an order every step of the way. From shopping to delivery, keep consumers in the loop by allowing them to track each item shopped, chat with shoppers and see when the order is on its way.
Trust is earned when orders are delivered as expected. Ensure that your delivery partner is committed to building consumer confidence by prioritizing the following two areas:
- Order accuracy. This is a must for customer satisfaction. Barcode scanning is a feature enabled on mobile devices that can help shoppers avoid errors and make sure the right items are being selected.
- On-time deliveries. Customers expect orders to arrive within the delivery window given. Providers with a reputation for on-time deliveries will keep your customers satisfied and help drive more repeat business.