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Trendspotting: Food retailers missing out on revenue opportunities

By
Craig Levitt, managing editor

The pandemic changed a lot of things, not the least of which was the way consumers shop. The likes of Amazon had already made online shopping an everyday event; the pandemic simply sped things up — especially when it comes to buying food.

Now, almost three years later, food retailers are still behind in developing integrated, seamless and personalized experiences across all channels, so says the 2022 Grocery Omnichannel Retail Index findings, recently released by OSF Digital, in partnership with FMI, the Food Industry Association, and NRF, the National Retail Federation.

“Food retailers suddenly had to become omnichannel masters in a short period of time and often had to piece together multiple, distinct programs and solutions to meet customer demands,” said Bernardine Wu, executive managing director of digital strategy at OSF Digital. “The latest Grocery Omnichannel Retail Index reveals that there are fragmented shopping experiences and therefore opportunities to develop a stronger seamless customer experience.”

The 2022 Grocery ORI reveals progress in omnichannel best practices and this year’s benchmarking study identified opportunities in the shopper’s journey that can reduce friction and drive additional revenue and higher margins for grocers.

According to the report, many food retailers are not optimizing the digital experience to increase shopping cart size. While all food retailers in the Grocery ORI allow customers to edit quantity in cart, only 20 percent offer the ability to move items from the cart to a “save for later” status; whereas, in other retail verticals, the adoption rate is 40 percent. The option of having “save for later” gives the customer a way to find a previously considered product and simply add it to the cart instead of having to spend time searching for it.

The report also showed that just about half of food retailers recommend additional products in the cart before checkout, up from 35 percent in 2019. Suggesting complementary products or popular items bought together is an effective upselling tool to increase basket size and make the shopping experience more helpful for the customer.

Craig Levitt

Craig Levitt

About Craig Levitt  |  email

When his dreams of becoming a professional hockey player came crashing down due to lack of talent, Craig Levitt turned to journalism. He graduated from Hofstra University in 1992 and has covered various areas of the retail food trade since 1996. Craig joined The Produce News in 2017 and is now managing editor. In his spare time, Craig still plays men’s league hockey (poorly) and enjoys walking the aisles of his favorite supermarket with his wife and two daughters.

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