Do you do your weekly shop online and have your groceries delivered to your door, or ready for you to click and collect? If you haven’t already taken this chore digital, you probably soon will according to Google.

The search engine expects the ecommerce grocery industry to increase threefold in the next 10 years – meaning grocers need to be prepared now for the influx of the omnichannel shopper. For smaller grocers in particular this change in buying habits represents a huge opportunity.

A recent survey of shoppers found that those who hadn’t yet made the switch to ordering online would overwhelmingly begin with their local grocer when they did decide to go digital.

While high street figures are often overshadowed by online sales generally in the retail space, there’s also good news for those with bricks-and-mortar locations as 96% of shoppers say they would select a traditional shop for their online delivery needs initially. Of those, 85% would choose to do their online grocery shop with a store that they already frequent.

Google says that this shift in attitudes means grocers embracing digital channels sooner than their competitors can gain an advantage over rivals in three key ways;

  1. Early adopters will have the lead in shaping behaviours as consumers transition to online grocery shopping
  2. When a shopper decides the time is right to try a digital order, the early adopters will be most likely to win that first experimental order
  3. Early adopters with an omnichannel approach will be better positioned to offer shoppers convenience and stand a better chance of winning repeat business

The digital influence

What’s interesting is that while the majority of grocery shops take place in a traditional supermarket setting, what happens online is having an impact on what goes into the physical trolley. Half of offline sales are influenced by what happens online according to Google research – offering tools and increasing convenience could therefore be a means of helping those shoppers making the transition to online.

The option to compare prices and create a shopping list digitally would be the most welcomed features say shoppers. Voice assistant technology is popular with those who do already shop online with some using it weekly so, exploring voice search could also provide a route to online sales for those grocers ready to expand their reach.

Going omnichannel

Across most industries, convenience is key and grocery shopping is no different. Those who do want to do their weekly shop online expect the same kind of service as they receive from other online purchases, namely a smooth and seamless journey no matter their device. Less than half of online shoppers (42%) say their experiences of grocery shopping online have been more convenient than simply driving to the supermarket, meaning that early adopters certainly should focus on making the user journey slicker across multiple channels and digital touch points. Translating that into a digital environment means making things like product search, deal finding and price comparison easy and quick and the act of adding to basket a lot easier. As Google puts it, “…forward-thinking traditional grocers who can leverage strong relationships with their customers to drive trial and build truly assistive shopping experiences are positioned to win as grocery shoppers become truly omnichannel.”

If you’re a grocer with omnichannel ambitions and want to leverage the opportunities presented by early adopting, contact Adrac today to find out how we can help.