Online Tools Increasingly Drive In-Store Engagement: Study

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Online Tools Increasingly Drive In-Store Engagement: Study


Print and online circulars are almost neck and neck in helpfulness, but recipes and apps are driving more consumers online to engage grocers, according to a new report soon to be released by Brick Meets Click (BMC) in partnership with Grocery Shopping Network (GSN).

The report, “Connecting with Modern Grocery Shoppers,” will be released April 19, and involved an online survey of 23,000 shoppers who participate in GSN’s online network. Brick Meets Click developed and executed the survey, research and analysis.

“This study draws a complete picture of how grocery shoppers are blending old and new media to make food purchasing decisions,” says Bill Bishop, chief architect of Brick Meets Click and chairman of Willard Bishop. “It will help food retailers and their suppliers more effectively manage the transition to a mix of print and digital communications.”

The large sample of digitally engaged grocery shoppers delivers critical insights into key aspects of grocery shopping in today’s increasingly multi-channel environment. From a marketing perspective, the new data will help in developing a better understanding of how digital trends are impacting shopper behavior, what shoppers find valuable on their grocer’s website, what digital resources engaged shoppers use for information, and which digital communication platforms are effectively engaging shoppers of different ages, according to Bricks Meets Clicks.

Among the findings:

  • Eighty percent of shoppers still find the printed circular helpful, but the web is not far behind; almost 70 percent report they find online ads helpful.
  • Price isn’t the sole driver of trips to retailer websites. Shoppers find non-price value in scanning recipes (71 percent) and building online shopping lists (58 percent).
  • Digitally engaged shoppers show a lot of interest in adding grocery shopping apps: 21 percent have and use them, and 40 percent are considering adding them.
  • Seventy-six percent of digitally engaged shoppers still write shopping lists by hand.

“The study confirms that today’s shopper is combining online planning with in-store visits to make their grocery shopping more informed, cost-effective and enjoyable,” said Scott Lutz, CEO and president of Minneapolis-based GSN. “It’s a candid, independent assessment that will help us better meet shopper needs.”

“Working regularly with retailers and suppliers, it is clear the information will deliver real value,” says Steve Bishop, managing director at BMC. “It’s ‘game on’ in 2012, and we believe these findings will help organizations reduce vulnerabilities and blind spots that may be obscuring new competitive issues.”

Barrington, Ill.-based Brick Meets Click is dedicated to creating cutting-edge thought leadership on how consumer technology use is influencing the future of shopping, changing retail business models, and realigning trade partnerships. To promote discussion and idea-sharing about the increasingly multi-channel shopping experience, BMC publishes a wide variety of content at

GSN offers digital shopper planning and marketing tools for grocery retailers, Consumer Packaged Goods companies, and shoppers with the goal of providing a more valuable digital planning tool for grocery shoppers that will make their shopping experience (whether online or in-store) significantly better.