Kennedy: Food shoppers mix in-person and online shopping
Prepare for the ‘click and the mortar’.
It’s the latest iteration of food retailing, a recognition that consumers no longer have a view of grocery shopping – only online or only in stores – but a “blended” approach that includes both.
In fact, the percentage of consumers today who say they typically fill the closet online and in-store has increased dramatically from just three years ago, noted Jim Hertel, an executive at the analyst at Inmar Intelligence market, during a webinar last week.
For grocery retailers, he said, “the days when you could treat online and in-store as two totally separate experiences” are gone because people now buy both “and expect an experience. because it is defined by a [store] banner or retailer.
“A consistent in-store / online experience is the key to future wallet sharing,” he added.
Co-presenter, as he usually is, of the Food Institute’s annual ‘The Future of Food Retailing’ program, Hertel offered an overview of Inmar’s report of the same name, expected this month. next.
While the coronavirus pandemic has certainly helped accelerate the use of web and mobile platforms for grocery shopping, demographics also play a role.
Baby boomers (aged 55 to 73) and Gen X (aged 39 to 54) say they still prefer to buy in-store, Hertel said, but each group is also trying to order online.
Millennials (23-38) and Gen Z (22 and under), apparently always with smartphones in hand, tend to shop online, although each also buys in-store.
This has led to a shift in mindset among researchers, according to Hertel: “We believe that e-commerce, at least in food retail, is not going to supplant or replace the in-store experience.
And that’s good for mainstream grocers, who have struggled for years with non-traditional vendors like drugstores, dollar stores, and club stores that nibble at market share.
In 1995, the neighborhood supermarket dominated food sales and non-traditional suppliers had only a small share. By 2020, however, the share of non-traditional has grown to 40% of overall sales and supermarket supremacy has fallen to 45%, according to Hertel.
In the next five years, traditional grocers – not just supermarkets but retailers with at least two-thirds of food and consumable sales – are expected to hold 45 percent of sales, even as the share of non-traditional vendors increases. at the expense of convenience stores, he said.
“The traditional grocery store has benefited greatly from… e-commerce, and will continue to improve more and more in this area and will use it as a tool to maintain its market share in the future,” Hertel said.
Of course, traditional grocers have yet to make sure the digital consumer experience is right, noted Hertel co-presenter Craig Rosenblum, also an Inmar executive.
“It’s not a one size fits all anymore,” he said. “You have to be able to offer a unique and personalized shopping experience to each buyer. … You must be able to meet them where they want to be met.
Marlene Kennedy is a freelance columnist. The opinions expressed in his column are his own and not necessarily those of the newspaper. Reach her at [email protected]
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