Consumers Warming Up To Digital Grocery Shopping

The Lempert Report
May 12, 2015

Customers are expanding their use of online grocery options.

According to a new report from Nielsen, US consumers are warming up to digital shopping and taking a more blended approach to offline and online channels.  Between Millennials, in-store tech advances and emerging delivery options, like Instacart and Amazon for example, consumer comfort level is growing.

Nielsen's new survey, looked at responses from 30,000 shoppers in 60 countries, found that the use of digital retail options is highest in the developing markets in the Asia-Pacific, about 60% on average, while North America is at 52%.  But retailers should be aware that consumers are using the digital world in multiple other ways as well, such as online or mobile coupons; mobile shopping lists; self-checkout lines and hand-held scanners. And about 12% are ordering food online for in-store pickup, while 10% order online for curbside pickup. 

The survey also found that, in the US especially, price is the primary motivator. 72% of respondents say price has driven them to switch stores, far more than convenience, which at 45% is the second most important factor. 

In our own survey for NGA we found that retailers that accept digital coupons, offer check in rewards and run apps are positioning for tomorrow’s success. And shoppers increasingly want stores in digital sync with them with 42.4% or responders saying these digital skills are “very / somewhat” important to their choice of primary supermarket.

This new survey from Nielsen can help supermarkets as they try and appeal to the modern shopper. Successful retailers will be the ones who can make use of a combination of different digital tools that will help consumers in several different aspects of their shopping experience. Embracing the online world can be fun and empowering for shoppers, but retailers need to make these tools easy to use and easily accessible so customers feel they have flexibility and control.