Shoppers are increasingly turning online when shopping for food, household goods, and health and beauty care (HBC) products. They're also looking to save money, as 68 percent of online grocery shoppers reported that using coupons and discounts to save money is the most important factor when shopping, according to Valassis’ "2K19 Coupon Intelligence Report."
“In today’s ultra-competitive grocery environment, the stakes are high for brands and retailers to truly understand the consumer and what’s important to them in order to drive activation,” said Michelle Engle, SVP of marketing for Livonia, Mich.-based Valassis. “Marketers must leverage predictive intelligence that connects online and offline data across channels, offering consumers what they value – savings, convenience, personalized experiences and real-time engagement.”
Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of consumers still purchase all of their food in-store, but online shopping has increased year over year, with an increase of 44 percent for food, 40 percent for HBC products and 38 percent for household items.
Much of this online purchasing behavior is driven by savings and convenience. Online grocery shoppers are prominent coupon advocates, with 65 percent using them always or very often, versus 45 percent of all consumers. To benefit from enhanced savings, 60 percent always or very often load coupons onto loyalty/frequent shopper cards, versus 40 percent of all respondents. Meanwhile, 36 percent of all consumers would use more coupons if they were able to use them in any store or online – about a quarter avoid shopping online because they can’t use coupons or get in-store deals.
Online shopping still has some drawbacks, however. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of online shoppers miss the sensory experience of touching and smelling produce, while 62 percent find it frustrating when they can’t use coupons or discounts, and 62 percent are uncomfortable with having someone else pick out their produce or other perishable items.
Retailers should better understand online shoppers to improve engagement. For example, the study found that 76 percent prioritize going to a store with the lowest prices when shopping for groceries, and 59 percent take paper/printed coupons with them on shopping trips. The online grocery shopper also has higher engagement with store circulars to determine where to shop, with 62 percent looking at printed circulars/ads to determine where to shop, versus 46 percent of all consumers, and 60 percent looking at online circulars/weekly ads to decide which retailers to shop at, versus 37 percent of all consumers.
In terms of the online grocery shopper, as defined within the report, Valassis found that 77 percent are between 18 and 44 years old, skewing more heavily toward Millennials, younger Gen Xers, males, and households with an average income of $80,900. The top reasons that consumers are shopping online include saving time (66 percent); a larger selection of products (66 percent); easier than shopping in-store (65 percent); and less expensive than shopping in brick-and-mortar venues (59 percent)