Friday March 1, 2013
Online Grocery Shopping Should Mimic In-Store Experience
Bellevue, WA — Growth in online grocery shopping is fueled by two factors, according to The Hartman Group, Inc.,'s Online Grocery Shopping study — breaking consumers from habits associated with in-store shopping and helping consumers navigate the online channel when situational triggers arise.
Of the 1,595 consumers Hartman studied, 14 percent are online shoppers who are typically young, urban-dwellers. Ironically, 23 percent live in walking distance to a grocery store, Hartman reports. Typically high-value consumers who spend more every month than those who don't use the online channel, online grocery shoppers react positively to loyalty programs, which well-position retailers for overall growth, Hartman says.
While only 18 percent of households have gone online within the last three months to purchase groceries, Hartman notes Forrester Research estimates U.S. online food and beverage sales will reach more than $15 billion in 2013. Snacks and sweets, personal care items and tissue products will lead the way.
Hartman says websites that are functional and easy-to-use and those that keep in line with the tactile, spontaneous nature of shopping at the store will have the most success.
Hartman reports: “First-time users' existing in-store habits shape their assumptions about the potential benefits and limitations of online grocery shopping. The first-time experience is often riddled with questions as shoppers stumble through the online sites, raising their anxiety and spending most of their energy figuring out the system.”
The report suggests interactive tutorials for first-time users and shortcuts and personalization for experienced users.