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Study Finds Omnichannel Grocery Shoppers Spend More

By Tracey E. Schelmetic July 28, 2022

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the term “omni-channel grocery shopper” was a term that existed on the fringe, describing the tiny handful of people who engaged in grocery shopping in any other way than showing up at the store and filling a cart.

The global pandemic caused an explosion of shoppers using grocery apps to cut down on the amount of time they spent in the store: preparing virtual carts through apps and picking up the items at the curbside or ordering groceries for delivery. While pandemic lockdowns have eased or disappeared altogether, many Americans have decided they like digital grocery shopping.

It turns out that omni-channel grocery shopping engagement is good for grocers, too.

AI-powered merchandising solutions provider Symphony RetailAI announced the findings of an analysis of nearly 600 million shopper transactions to determine the impact of today’s omni-channel grocery shopper. A key finding is that online household penetration now reaches 6.4 percent, up 60 percent from pre-pandemic levels, and households that shop both in-store and online are growing at a rate of 10 percent year-over-year.

The growth is good news for the grocery industry. The RetailAI study found that omni-channel customers are more loyal than their in-store-only counterparts, and customers who adopt omni-channel increase both shopping frequency and basket size, generating an incremental spend of 16 percent.

The researchers also found that those who adopt omni-channel shopping habits generate incremental spending; however, they expect omnichannel engagement from the grocery stores they interact with. While their loyalty can be stronger than that of non-digital shoppers, their level of churn may be significantly higher if retailers don’t provide an excellent customer experience from the first visit.

“The rate of digital adoption was essentially accelerated by a decade during the pandemic,” said Laetitia Berthier, Head of Client Management, Europe, Symphony RetailAI. “The growth today is less hyperbolic than a year ago, but the rising share of total business in e-commerce strongly points to the need to understand the value and the changing needs of the online customer. Retailers really have to tailor the online experience to their needs that are evolving quickly and very different from in-store.”

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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