Who Will Win the Grocery Wars? Find Out in ServiceChannel’s New State of Grocery Report

Big things are happening in the grocery world: online grocery sales have more than tripled between 2013 and 2018, while meal kits, on-demand delivery services and other digital alternatives increasingly tempt shoppers away from traditional grocery shopping. Amazon continues to shake things up after its acquisition of Whole Foods, making its same-day grocery delivery service free for all Prime members. Walmart now delivers groceries straight to your fridge, Target now offers same-day delivery via Shipt from 1,500 stores in 250 markets and Instacart’s grocery delivery covers 80% of American households.

Consumer expectations are changing as fast as the industry. What does today’s modern grocery shopper want out of their shopping experience?  

To find out, we commissioned a new study, which we are unveiling today: The State of Grocery Report: Are You Creating the Right Customer Experience for the Modern Shopper?, which surveyed 1,505 consumers on their online and in-store grocery shopping preferences and habits. 

The data reveals a new type of “omnichannel shopper” and grocers must prepare to meet the needs of this fast-growing segment. This shopper seeks out non-grocery services unavailable online and uses them at much higher rates than non-digital grocery shoppers: two times as many omnichannel shoppers use banking services and three times as many eat at in-store restaurants. They’re also four times as likely to be disloyal to their primary grocery store.

The study also examines plans for holiday grocery shopping, a crucial time for grocers to meet shoppers’ needs in this stressful time. Thirty percent of respondents expect the holiday grocery shopping experience to be more stressful than usual, but did you know 29% are planning to order prepared meals or dishes to make things easier? The data underscores that grocers who can offer a smooth, efficient experience are more likely to win over holiday shoppers. 

Read the full report to get the details on what grocers need to know to offer the best experience to every generation and type of shopper. Their position on the food chain could depend on it. 

Some Key Findings from The State of Grocery Report:

Grocers must understand grocery shopping preferences across generations and prepare for a new type of omnichannel shopper: 

  • For example, Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X buy a coffee or tea during most shopping trips, while Boomers are looking to fill a prescription. 
  • We asked what would make Millennials or Boomers switch to a new primary grocery store: download the full report to see what amenities and features would most tempt each of these generations to switch and the different set of expectations that omnichannel shoppers have around grocery shopping compared to non-digital shoppers. 

All shoppers want a smooth and efficient grocery shopping experience, in a well-maintained space complemented by easy-to-use technology. 

  • Well-maintained spaces are more critical than ever: clean shelves, floors, bathrooms, and carts are the most important physical aspects of a grocery store. Yet, 48% of people have left a grocery store without buying anything because it was too dirty. 
  • Download the full report to find out just how important clean bathrooms are for respondents (and just how many stores seem to be lacking clean facilities) as well as the foundational tech that shoppers expect at all grocery stores.  

Consumers want to reduce holiday shopping stress this season, looking for prepared meals and a blend of digital and brick-and-mortar grocery shopping. 

  • Retail sales over the 2019 winter holidays are forecast to surpass one trillion dollars, and food spending will be the second biggest category after gifts. Shoppers plan to split grocery delivery and in-store shopping this season and are looking for time-saving options like prepared foods. 

Check out the full report to see what grocery stores can do to alleviate holiday food shopping stress.