Hybrid grocery shopping transforming food retail landscape
The expansion of hybrid shopping — getting groceries both in store and online — presents retailers with a variety of exciting opportunities to better engage with consumers by improving and streamlining the overall shopping experience both online and in stores.
The Food Industry Association released Part III of its U.S Grocery Shopper Trends 2022 series, titled “Navigating A Hybrid World.” The most recent release from the expansive, industry-leading survey of food shoppers' journeys explores the attitudes and behaviors of the hybrid shopper.
The expanding food retail marketplace has prompted new habits for shoppers who have embraced hybrid options and integrated them into their routines. As the research notes, in 2015 only 7 percent of shoppers reported ordering groceries online within the previous 30 days. By 2022, half of online food shoppers said they shop online every two weeks or more.
Digital shoppers are drawn to the online marketplace for its convenience and value. Being able to see the total cost of their virtual shopping cart before checking out gives them more control and the opportunity to eliminate unnecessary purchases and stay within their budgets. Additionally, 62 percent of online-reliant shoppers believe online shopping saves more time than in-person shopping, while 40 percent say online is better than in-person at helping them discover new products.
“The recent wave of online shopping adoption and the growing variety of online methods may represent the most dramatic upheaval of the food shopping landscape we once knew,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI. “Still, despite shoppers embrace of online grocery shopping, the in-person experience is here to stay. Food is deeply personal, and many shoppers still prefer shopping in person.”
Despite the many advantages, the rise in popularity of online ordering has forced shoppers to cede some control in terms of being able to touch and choose items themselves. Nearly half of shoppers (43 percent) believe they get better quality products when they shop in store, as opposed to just 17 percent who believe the same about online shopping. Even those who shop online at least some of the time said that 70 percent of their grocery trips are done in-person.