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Multichannel Grocers Beat Online-only in Order Sizes

Online sales for supermarkets are strong, with multichannel operators generating larger transactions than solely e-commerce operators, a new study reports.

More than half of the banners involved in the study, released by Barrington, Ill.-based consultancy Brick Meets Click, reported average online orders between $120 and $180, compared to the average order size recently reported for Fresh Direct ($105) and AmazonFresh ($84). The study compared online orders for the same week from 19 multichannel supermarket banners that offer groceries in both traditional and online formats. Benchmarks were then developed for four key performance indicators (KPIs): average order size (in dollars), Average order size (in dollars), average number of orders per week, lost sales as a percentage of online sales, and percentage of orders with lost sales.

“This benchmarking project is extremely valuable because it allows multichannel supermarkets to compare their online sales to other food retailers on a consistent and confidential basis. It also gives them the opportunity to learn how to increase sales from the experience of other retailers,” said Steve Bishop, managing partner of Brick Meets Click.

The study also documents and highlights the opportunity to reduce “lost sales” – items that were ordered, but were “out of stock” and could not be satisfied with substitutes.

“The average dollar amount of lost sales was about 3 percent, and the lost sales problem impacted almost 40 percent of total orders,” Bishop reports. “We now understand the business implications of how broadly lost sales impact customers, and have an opportunity to better understand which lost sales have the biggest impact on customer satisfaction.”

Each participating banner received a confidential report showing how their performance compared on each KPI with a composite average. No individual banner data was released except to the retailer who provided it. Participation in the benchmarking study was also kept anonymous to further protect confidentiality.

Brick Meets Click will conduct a “retailer only” webinar, "How do online grocery orders compare across NorthAmerica?” on January 11, 2017, to present more of the study information and insights. All retailers wishing to learn more about the benchmark results are invited to attend by registering for the webinar here

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