A basket of fresh foods being clicked on

Quality Guarantee, Free Shipping Critical to Move Purchases Online

Randy Hofbauer
Digital and Technology Editor

Although there will always be consumers who continually refuse to purchase certain groceries online versus in-store, assuring high quality and not charging for shipping are two ways to get many to switch from bricks to clicks with groceries, new research from marketing consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners reveals.

According to the Cambridge, Mass.-based firm’s "2017 Consumer Shopping Study," a quality guarantee (24 percent) and free shipping (23 percent) were the top two reasons to switch from buying groceries online instead of in-store, brick-and-mortar purists said. Trailing in third place, but still a significant reason, was same-day shipping, which 11 percent selected.

These findings mesh with the fact that people who purchase groceries in-store value brick-and-mortar’s ability to offer both quality assurance and no wait time to receive products more than other attributes: 70 percent and 63 percent, respectively, said it’s easier to judge quality in stores and that they're worried about food quality in online orders. Meanwhile, 51 percent said they don’t have to wait for shipping.

“Some consumers have already begun to shop online for products where quality is less of a concern,” the report noted. “To retain customers shopping for these products, grocery stores should focus on price and convenience.”

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