- When launching an online grocery shopping portal, the most important thing to consider is user experience, Chris Bryson, CEO of shopper marketing technology provider Unata, wrote in a commentary on Grocery Headquarters. Buying groceries online is a new concept for many shoppers, so it should seem like it's both easy and a time-saver.
- As technology continues to evolve, a grocery shopping portal should also change. If a store's digital portal is quality, Bryson writes it could be easier to lock in loyal shoppers, who may otherwise stray to mega-retailers like Wal-Mart or Amazon.
- Paying attention to feedback, analytics and usage rates are all key to ensuring that the portal is successful — and remains that way, Bryson wrote.
Online grocery shopping is one of the industry's hottest trends, and it makes sense for retailers to try to add this level of convenience to what they have to offer. According to Prosper Insights & Analytics' November 2016 survey, 7.7% of U.S consumers shopped for groceries online in the last month — an increase of two percentage points from November 2014.
Now is a good time to develop and perfect an online shopping portal, since the idea is a few years old — long enough for a retailer to learn from others' successes and failures. In general, users want a simple, fast-loading interface that makes sense to use.
Online grocery shoppers tend to specifically be looking for convenience, so app development that allows people to browse and purchase from a phone or tablet is important. Other features that have proved to be convenient include integration of rewards programs, data that can be shared between devices — so a product placed in a shopping cart on a smartphone will still be there if the customer finishes a transaction on a computer — and a receipt code that can be scanned or entered to let a customer access and potentially repeat purchases from a previous trip.