- eMarketer.com reported that food and beverages are expected to be the ninth highest category in ecommerce sales between 2012 to 2018, worth approximately $10.9 billion, according to Progressive Grocer.
- Nielsen’s “The Future of Grocery” report predicts grocery ordering online for either pickup or delivery will increase a great deal from the small 12% and 9% of U.S. consumers who tried these options in 2015, with expected increases up to 55% and 57%, respectively.
- Among the companies Progressive Grocer expects will make big strides in digital grocery in the years ahead include Wal-Mart, Kroger, H-E-B and ShopRite.
The 2017 Grocery eCommerce Forecast, a joint report by Unata and Brick Meets Click, showed that more consumers are expected to buy groceries online in the year ahead.
Grocery retailers that want to be successful in the ecommerce space should follow the lead of Wal-Mart, ShopRite, Kroger and H-E-B, and innovate in their offerings. Convenience to the consumer is key. Wal-Mart partnered with ridesharing services in several markets for deliveries and it also instituted free curbside pickup in eight cities.
Wal-Mart recently acquired Jet.com for $3 billion, so their success in this arena got a unique jumpstart. However, retailers can look to bolster ecommerce segments by acquiring smaller players in the arena or working with third party services. H-E-B partnered with both Shipt and Instacart in Texas to help in its delivery of items.
And all four stores praised by Progressive Grocer have expanded their grocery pickup services. These include Kroger’s ClickList, H-E-B’s Curbside click-and-collect, and ShopRites’ ShopRite From Home.
A report from Clavis Insight showed more shoppers are choosing click and collect over home delivery or in-store options because it saves time and they can avoid busy checkout lines.
The stores highlighted by Progressive Grocer have something else in common: They give something extra to the customer. Wal-Mart is working at speedy shipping and is a low-cost leader. Kroger uses analytics to know more about shoppers and what they want. H-E-B, which is based in Texas, has a page that shows the best Texas-made products, And ShopRite has been in the ecommerce business since 2002.
Retailers can find many ways to differentiate their digital offerings from the crowd. If a retailer cannot win on speed, analytics or experience, following H-E-B's lead and bringing some personality and unique offerings to online customers could help build a loyal following.