New research from consumer feedback tech firm PowerReviews explores the grocery shopping habits of American consumers, providing six recommendations for retail marketers—in grocery stores or any market—to better attract, convert and retain shoppers across channels, in an increasingly competitive space.
“Grocery retailers need to rethink their in-store and online strategies, to meet the changing needs of today’s consumers and stay ahead in this new era of grocery shopping. Amazon’s $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods, followed by its application for a prepared meal-kit trademark, shows their growing presence in the grocery industry,” said Matt Moog, chief executive officer of PowerReviews, in a news release.
“Today, less than a quarter (17 percent) of consumers are purchasing groceries online but that number will only continue to grow as online shopping options increase and more and more consumers crave the conveniences they have come to expect from online shopping,” he added.
Based on its findings from its recent study, PowerReviews offer these six recommendations to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive grocery space.
Feature ratings and reviews content on in-store displays
Grocery shoppers want access to reviews in-store—and they don’t want to look hard to find them. In fact, more than half of in-store grocery shoppers prefer to find ratings and reviews on store signage. And the good news is, featuring ratings and reviews in your stores doesn’t have to be a big investment. Simply feature star ratings and customer reviews on signs alongside your products—similar to what Amazon does in their bookstores.
Include ratings and reviews on your website and mobile apps
In addition to craving ratings and reviews on store signage, both online and in-store grocery shoppers want to find this content on retail websites and mobile apps. So be sure you have plenty of reviews for plenty of your products—consumers are looking for this content for a wide range of grocery products.
Leverage product sampling to generate reviews
Product sampling is certainly not a new concept for grocery brands and retailers. But in addition to being a tactic to get shoppers to try—then buy—your products, sampling campaigns are also an effective way to generate ratings and reviews for your products. Work with your ratings and reviews provider to send samples of new products or products in need of additional review coverage, then request reviews from those who received a free sample. More than half (52 percent) of in-store shoppers and nearly a quarter (72 percent) of online shoppers are more likely to purchase a grocery item they’ve never purchased before if they can find review content for those products.
Create memorable experiences
If you have brick and mortar grocery stores, think of ways you can leverage these assets to create memorable experiences for your shoppers that go beyond a transaction. For example, offer cooking classes that’ll entertain and inspire consumers. Offering rich experiences for your in-store shoppers will allow you to forge deep connections with them. And chances are, those who visit your store for these experiences will stay to pick up some groceries, too.
Leverage brick and mortar stores to drive online success
Look for opportunities to leverage your brick and mortar stores as a tool to help drive your online success. One way grocery retailers are doing this is by offering click and collect services, which allow consumers to place an order online but pick it up in a store. For example, 55 percent of all digital sales for Target are fulfilled in-store. Offering this service not only saves your customers time, it also has the potential to drive additional in-store sales.
Bolster your online presence
A growing number of consumers are shopping for groceries online. And even those who are visiting brick-and-mortar grocery stores are using their phone as a shopping tool. That’s why it’s important to have a strong online presence so consumers can find your product pages—and easily convert on them.
Make sure your website provides a greater user experience for your shoppers and includes plenty of information about your products and stores. Go beyond your own product descriptions to prominently feature product ratings and reviews on your website and your mobile apps. In addition to providing your shoppers with the information they’re looking for, featuring user-generated content on your website can also ensure your product pages are showing up in search engine results.