Other generations catching up to Millennials in online grocery shopping, says Clavis Insight report

Photo: iStock/Kerkez

How can the grocery sector win over more online shoppers? Clavis Insight divided US shoppers into three different general personas, providing a handy view of the online retail landscape.

It’s no news that digital purchases for groceries lag behind other industries, and while many industry analysts and polls suggest Millennials and urban dwellers to be the primary e-shoppers, Clavis Insight’s data found that they aren’t alone—the suburban working mom or homemaker, aged 35-54, has a greater tendency to browse and research online, “even when it comes to grocery categories.”

“The typical ‘online grocery shopper’ is not restricted to young professionals…with older demographics (35-54yr olds) also heavily engaged – 84% of this age group shop online at least once a month,” according to the report.

This shopper profile, which Clavis Insight nicknamed ‘Price Conscious Caroline,’ is one of the three general shoppers the company extracted from its survey (the other two are ‘Mobile Millennial Melissa’ and ‘Best Buy Bob’).

There were 500 respondents in the survey, conducted in August 2016, where 30% of respondents were aged between 18-34, 37% aged 35-54, and 33% above 55.

Weekly-shopping Millennials still dominate online

The Millennial group, generally used to describe the population born between 1982 – 1997, “will continue to dominate the 2017 online grocery landscape,” the report said, adding that 62% of this age group in the US shops online weekly.

Retailers that Millennials frequent were Amazon (used by 81% of the respondents in this age group), Walmart (405), and Target (215). Additionally, the survey found that these shoppers are more likely to use mobile as their primary device for online shopping, driven by the breadth of choice/assortment, convenience, and presence of shopper ratings and reviews.

Less important to them was price, which contrasts the Generation X group. Also down the priority list was home delivery, with Millennial shoppers more likely to pick-up the order from a click and collect point on their way home from work, which means multiple and flexible fulfilment options are key, the report said.

Personalization, Mobility: What to expect in 2017

Based on the survey results, Clavis Insights forecasted that there are two very different core shopping missions between the two age groups (Millennials and Generation X) that are heavily engaged with the grocery category.

Millennials valued assortment and ratings and reviews, while the older group valued price and convenience. Therefore, retailers are encouraged to deliver an omnichannel shopping experience, the report said.

Additionally, the number of shoppers who use their phones as their primary shopping device will continue to increase (today, over 40% of 18-34-year-olds use smartphones as their primary online shopping device).

“Shoppers will expect an experience on mobile devices on par, or better than desktop,” according to the report. “Both brands and retailers need to recognise that a ‘one size fits all’ content strategy will no longer suffice.”

Screenless online shopping

Another big trend Clavis Insights forecasted will shake-up online grocery shopping is a move to going screenless.

Amazon was credited as a pioneer in this space, bringing voice-command shopping with its Alexa product, and its cashier-less Amazon Go brick-and-mortar ‘online shop,’ where customers simply walk out the door after grabbing what they need, with sensors automatically deducting the purchases from shoppers’ mobile devices.

“Shoppers will expect retailers to continue to evolve, to innovate, and drive an increasingly more convenient online shopping trip,” said the report.

The full report can be requested from Clavis Insight.

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