Shoppers want ‘blended’ experience of bricks with clicks

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 11th May 2015
Shoppers want ‘blended’ experience of bricks with clicks
Shoppers want ‘blended’ experience of bricks with clicks

Grocery shoppers increasingly want the benefits of digital services to be part of their grocery shopping experience too, according to global market research organisation Nielsen.

In many digital shopping environments, consumers experiences are “streamlined”, based on criteria like previous purchases, custom settings and demographic information, from product recommendations to speedy checkouts.

According to Nielsen a grocery store where consumers can receive personal recommendations the moment they step in store, they will be happier to take the recommended online offering and they also seek an efficient checkout process.

experience a checkout that takes seconds, and the option to pay for groceries without ever taking out their  wallet is not too far off.

Digital and physical grocery shopping ‘blurring’

Though technology has fundamentally transformed the way industries such as music, books and videos operate, change has been more evolutionary than revolutionary in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, according to Nielsen.

However, digital is redefining what it means to “go” grocery shopping. Lines between the physical and digital worlds are blurring. Savvy retailers are winning by leveraging technology to enhance the shopping experience and meet consumers’ evolving desires, according to Nielsen.

“The connected commerce era has arrived,” said Patrick Dodd, President of Global Retailer Vertical at Nielsen. “Consumers are no longer shopping entirely online or offline; rather, they’re taking a blended approach, using whatever channel best suits their needs,” he said.

“The most successful retailers and manufacturers will be at the intersection of the physical and virtual worlds, leveraging technology to satisfy shoppers however, wherever and whenever they want to shop,” Mr Dodd said.

Resurgence of home-delivery

According to Nielsen, across the globe there has been a resurgence of the home-delivery model from the past—with a twist. Consumers aren’t just picking up the phone to order; increasingly, they’re pulling up the retailer’s webpage or using their mobile app.

One quarter of global respondents in Nielsen’s Global E-Commerce and The New Retail Survey said they were already ordering grocery products online for home delivery, and more than half (55 per cent) were willing to use it in the future.

Fourteen per cent of global respondents said they used an automatic online subscription service, in which orders are routinely replenished at a specified frequency, and more than half (54 per cent) were willing to do so in the future.

In 2011, Tesco (Homeplus) introduced the first virtual supermarket in a South Korean subway system, and the model has spread to other markets. Today, 13 per cent of global respondents said they were already using a virtual store and nearly six-in-10 (58 per cent) were willing use them when they become available.

“Click and collect” less popular, but not forgotten

Nielsen said a smaller number of consumers were using “click and collect” services, which allow them to order groceries online for pickup at a store or other location.

Just over one-in-10 global respondents said they presently ordered groceries online and picked them up in-store or used a drive-thru (12 per cent each). Slightly fewer (10 per cent) said they order online for curbside pick-up.

More than half of global respondents, however, said they were willing to use these online options in the future (57 per cent for in-store, 55 per cent for drive-thru and 52 per cent for curbside pickup).