I have yet to jump on the online grocery shopping bandwagon, as someone who loves spending time in grocery stores selecting the perfect bunch of bananas, checking out the new whole grain line of pancake mixes, or comparing ingredient labels on nut butters.
In our household, however, when it’s 10pm and we realize we don’t have eggs on hand for tomorrow’s breakfast, my boyfriend fires up Amazon, places the order, and our eggs are on the way.
It’s fascinating to watch the trend of online grocery shopping grow – with everyone from Amazon to Google to Costco putting a stake in online grocery. Online grocery purchases are gaining in popularity, but this stat surprised me – online sales accounted for less than 1% of the U.S. retail food market in 2016 (Supermarket News).
Still, brick and mortar stores are mulling over out how best to keep us coming into their stores – whether it’s a focus on lower pricing, store design, offering convenience items and more. Whole Foods, as an example, is test-piloting a “Produce Butcher” who will slice and dice your produce for you before you walk out the door. Target is redesigning its store to accommodate their shoppers who prefer to slowly meander through its aisles versus those who want to dash in and grab two to three staples.
Club stores, discount stores and online retailers will likely experience growth twice that of supermarkets, mass retailers and drugstores through 2020, according to a recent piece in Supermarket News. The article also points to shoppers shifting spend toward services over goods, spending $2 on services to every $1 on goods within the next three years. Stores will need to think long and hard about how to keep drawing in consumers and providing them with the services that entice – services that result in sales of goods.
For now, I’ll continue to head to my local retailer to lift the lid on that egg carton. But in a pinch, I’ll seek out the online cart.
Links to recent articles summing up these trends:
Supermarket News: Retail has entered a challenging new era, speaker says
Supermarket News: Moody’s predicts easing deflation, return to profits for grocers
Comment: What have you noticed your local retailer doing to draw you in and buy?