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Latest Issue: Nov/Dec 2018

74 per cent of online grocery shoppers prioritise finding new products

Research commissioned by Bazaarvoice, in partnership with IGD, finds that with the growth in online grocery shopping, three-quarters (74 per cent) of online grocery shoppers are now focused on changing their basket of goods to discover new products.

According to IGD, 41 per cent of all British grocery shoppers say they have shopped online for food or household groceries in the last 4 weeks with a claimed average basket value of approximately £70, highlighting the appetite to buy food online.

Among 1,900 grocery shoppers, including 1,100 shoppers who have shopped online for their groceries in the last year, nearly three in five claim to have purchased a new product in the last month. This is most evident in impulse categories such as savoury snacks (30 per cent) sweet snacks (29 per cent) and bakery goods (26 per cent).

Digital’s pace of change meets grocery

Online will continue growing rapidly – 60 per cent of all British grocery shoppers say they will shop online and get their groceries delivered to home in the next two to three years – growing the value of the online channel by over 50 per cent in the next five years. By comparison, the value of supermarkets will grow by 7.7 per cent.

So far, the sector has been focused on embedding the loyalty of online shoppers – 32 per cent of online grocery shoppers say they subscribe to an online grocery delivery saver scheme, compared to 26 per cent in 2015. However, 36 per cent of these shoppers now express they are more loyal to brands that offer them free product samples.

Sophie Light-Wilkinson, VP Marketing, EMEA, Bazaarvoice, comments, “Two-thirds of online grocery shoppers say they are interested in receiving free samples with their regular online grocery shop. This not only provides significant opportunity for brands to get their products into shoppers’ hands, but also to collect feedback and content to use as advocacy ahead of a full product launch. However, there needs to be some form of targeting to ensure sampling activity can result in positive cut-through.”

Reviews provide significant opportunity to drive growth

With online growing and shoppers wanting to try new products, reviews could be significantly more important –40 per cent of all grocery shoppers say they like reading review for other products and should read them for food and grocery products as well.

Vanessa Henry, Shopper Insight Manager, IGD comments, “Grocery retail is seeing an unprecedented amount of change, driven by changing shopper expectations that can be met by the growing investment in the online grocery channel. However, a challenge for many companies is driving awareness of their products online. Reviews, along with the other ‘brilliant basics’ such as product imagery, product descriptions, search functionality and targeted media can help to ensure new products are launched successfully.”

Change is on the horizon as 81 per cent of shoppers claim to have read other reviews in the last 6 months and grocery is already the fifth most common use case of customer reviews after restaurants, hotels, and film & TV. Two fifths of shoppers admit they read reviews for other products and so they should read them for food and grocery.

Of course, the entrance of online customer content and reviews into the path to purchase does also mean Amazon has to be a consideration here. A fifth of grocery shoppers claim to have used Amazon for some part of their food and grocery shopping in the last 4 weeks.

Light-Wilkinson concludes, “Ratings and reviews also help discoverability, both for the retailer and product. The trick for grocers will be generating customer content around new products and generating the content on their own sites, rather than Amazon. Strategies that include product sampling programmes will play a decisive role for successful brands.”