Shoppers Expect Fast, Free Delivery and Are Sticking to Online Grocery Buying: Report

New survey by Coresight Research underscores importance of seamless experiences
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Shoppers Expect Fast, Free Delivery and Are Sticking to Online Grocery Buying: Report
Consumers rank fast and free online shopping and delivery as top priorities, new research finds.

Last year’s rapid changes in purchasing have led to new expectations, especially when it comes to online orders and delivery. According to a new report from Coresight Research, “A Year of Agility—What Post-ish COVID-19 Consumer Behavior Looks Like Right Now,” the #1 feature that is “very important” to U.S. consumers when choosing a retailer or brand is fast, free delivery for online orders. More than half (50.4%) of respondents in a recent survey cited that service.

In addition to getting what they want quickly and for free, a solid one-third of shoppers (33.4%) want the ability to purchase the same products online and in-store. Curbside pickup is important to 28.2% of the consumers who participated in the survey, which was produced by New York-based Coresight Research in partnership with media, analytics and consulting firm January Digital.

Another important takeaway for grocers is the fact that online grocery shows no sign of slowing down, even as consumers return to physical stores for items like clothing and household goods. Coresight Research’s findings reveal that online grocery remains as relevant as it did during the pandemic.

During a webinar discussing the report, Caroline Massullo, VP and head of e-commerce marketing at Chicago-based Peapod Digital Labs, weighed in on the implications. “The pandemic pushed people further towards demanding a channel agnostic experience. Having the same assortment curated in customers' local stores that is available online with prices that match are baseline expectations,” she said.

As food retailers near the halfway point of 2021, they can keep shoppers’ new expectations in mind while planning for the rest of summer and into the fall and holiday seasons.

"Personalization, last mile delivery logistics, localization or BOPIS are not new concepts, but customers are making it clear that getting these conveniences right and making them truly tailored is more important than ever. Be surgical in your approach to understanding what moves the needle for your specific business and lean in," advised Tierney Wilson, SVP for client strategy and consulting at January Digital.

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