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Based on the recent news about AmazonFresh expanding its delivery service into new markets, if you aren’t yet engaging your customers digitally, the online giant will be more than happy to do so for you.
Fortunately for independent grocers, it will take some time for Amazon to undergo this expansion, so you still have time to get into the digital game if you aren’t there yet. On top of this, according to a recent research study from Brick Meets Click and the National Grocer’s Association, your shoppers are primed and ready for such an engagement.
Called the "NGA/Brick Meets Click Digital Check-Up," the paper reveals findings from an online survey of more than 22,000 grocery customers, which showed that not only are grocery shoppers ready to connect online with food retailers, but that a lot of them are already doing it.
“Independent retailers must quickly connect with their customers online, even if it’s just using the basic tools, or they risk losing business,” Bill Bishop, chief architect of Brick Meets Click, told Progressive Grocer. “The thing that surprised me was that 13 percent of the shoppers surveyed had bought some grocery products online in the last 30 days. That tells you that while sales are still small, there's significant customer interest in online grocery shopping."
The survey was conducted in the first quarter of 2013 and included shoppers from seven different banners on the East and West Coasts and the Midwest. Key takeaways include information on consumer texting, Smartphone use, online shopping, grocer engagement and e-marketing.
Here are some of the findings:
- Most shoppers text regularly: More than 96 percent of shoppers surveyed have cell phones, and any shopper with a cellphone can text (it’s the one function that can be used across ALL mobile platforms, no matter how simple).
- Smartphone use is growing rapidly: People are using them to help manage their busy lives.
- Some are buying groceries online: While online purchases still represent a small fraction of spending, this percentage is becoming significant as new options gain traction.
- Sixty-eight percent of shoppers visit a retailer’s website for information such as specials, recipe suggestions and personalization opportunities.
- More than half of shoppers (53 percent) read retailer emails. This is a good way to push out messages.
- Sixty-nine percent of shoppers surveyed are active on Facebook. Grocers should be active on the platform as well.