There has never been more choice in grocery retail. Traditional grocers face competition from meal kits, e-grocery startups and retail giants like Amazon. For consumers, this is a welcome development. For grocers, it means investing in innovative technologies and ideas. It also means upping their marketing game. As these 4 retail statistics illustrate, consumers are demanding digitally innovative grocery retailers that go the extra mile to engage consumers.
Make It Social: 80% of Gen Z are influenced by social media when shopping
By now we're aware that social media marketing is a necessity rather than a nice-to-have. Millions of consumers follow and engage with their favourite grocery retailers. Tesco has 2.5 million followers on Facebook, while Walmart can boast a staggering 34 million. Gen Z are digital natives. They don't remember life before social media. It's no surprise then that 80% of Gen Z say they are influenced by social media when shopping. As Gen Z take their first steps into adulthood, grocery retailers have an advantage when it comes to marketing to these digitally savvy young consumers: food and social media go hand in hand. Just look at Instagram, or check out the popularity of Buzzfeed Tasty. For grocers, the real value lies in sharing recipes. Posts about individual products won't increase basket value in the same way that recipe inspiration will. It's worth remembering, however, that Gen Z comprises of those born between 1995 and 2010, meaning that those with spending power are most likely still in education, or recently finished. Quick, simple and inexpensive recipes are more likely to grab the attention of Gen Z, and keep the latest food trends in mind.
Make It Shoppable And Personal: 60% of consumers are more likely to choose a retailer if they're digitally innovative
What does digital innovation mean to consumers? Amazon Go would probably be a good example of overtly innovative retail. For consumers, it's a fresh and exciting approach to grocery retail. One hour grocery delivery or a free Click-and-Collect service also appeal to consumers. These strategies all involve investment in physical infrastructure, but the combination of customer data and AI enables online innovation that can be just as effective in attracting the 60% of consumers that appreciate digital innovation. Personalisation is a powerful tool that can make consumers feel valued and foster loyalty. (Read more about personalisation in grocery retail here.) Shoppable recipe recommendations (personalised to the consumer's preferences) can have similar effects. (Read more here.) Above all, innovation should make grocery shopping easier for consumers while increasing basket value for consumers.
Make It Mobile: 41% of consumers use grocery retailers apps most often for product and brand research
Bonus stats: 72% of food and beverage searches are carried out on a mobile device, and while 41% of consumers head straight to grocery retailer apps, 52% search on grocery retailer websites, so a seamless mobile presence is vital. Striking the balance between informative and clutter-free can be difficult, but the lack of space can be a good thing for grocers. Designing for thumbs means focusing in on what really matters to consumers and dispensing with irrelevant information. This doesn't mean the mobile app should contain only product information. It's important to offer consumers a reason to browse, and additional information in the form of blogs, tips and recipes does just that. This will also give consumers a reason to come back for more, and help grocery retailers stand out in a competitive space. With a 50% increase in grocery app usage expected by 2019, now is the time for grocery retailers to invest in an app experience that converts.
Make It Visual: 68% of millennial mothers watch videos while cooking
It's no surprise that images and videos attract consumer attention more than text. They require less input from the consumer, are more visual and provide a more engaging experience. And with 68% of millennial mothers watching videos while cooking, there are huge opportunities for retailers and brands to connect with consumers at home by embracing video. While smart displays like the Amazon Echo Show have yet to take off in a similar way to smart speakers, it's only a matter of time until screens become commonplace in home kitchens. Right now, smartphones and tablets are kept on hand, ready to provide cooking tips and inspiration. Since food is visual, and consumers lap up compelling time-lapse videos from the likes of Buzzfeed Tasty, it only makes sense for food brands and grocery retailers to invest in creating visual content that really resonates with their users. A recipe with a vibrant, professionally-styled image is already an attention-grabber, but a video is even more of a thumb-stopper.
We could list statistics all day but they all point in the one direction - consumers want grocery retailers to do more than just sell products to them. They're in search of informative, engaging, data-driven content and technologies that improve the customer experience and make them feel valued. With competition heating up in the grocery sector, there's no doubt that retailers need to keep this in mind.