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Messy Experiences Depending on Delivery Type in Grocery

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OSF Digital Strategy team is excited to serve up the 2022 Grocery Omnichannel Retail Index (“Index”) mid-September and feed grocers' appetite for benchmark statistics and best practices. Our consultants reviewed 50 food retailers' shopping experiences and tested website, mobile, store, and cross-channel features and functions to see what is satisfying tastebuds and what is leaving a bitter taste.

The pandemic accelerated the need for consumers to get food safely and efficiently and food retailers responded. Grocers moved quickly to set the bar for home delivery, buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup. Retailers from all verticals looked to grocery for best practices and standards. The variety of choices available is great, but the experience can often be messy.

Overall, the Index shows that 98% of the benchmarked retailers offer delivery and 90% offer pickup options, a 9% increase from 2019. One grocer’s site starts the shopping journey by asking how the customer would like to shop, a straightforward way to kick off the experience. Other grocers offer the customer the option to change from delivery to pick up at checkout (69% overall adoption rate).

Messy Experiences Depending on Delivery Type in Grocery

The Index reveals that 55% of grocers use a third-party and send customers to a separate site for online shopping. In addition, 67% of the benchmarked food retailers use a third-party for home delivery service. More food retailers are expanding into Ship-to-Home which allows grocers to tap into a larger geographic area with their product assortment. This can add another layer of complexity since this function is handled by conventional shippers.

It may start simple but it can get messy. Food retailers in the Index have often pieced together multiple distinct solutions to meet the demand for content, BOPIS/curbside, and delivery. Not only does the customer have to switch sites to shop or for home delivery, but there are also times when the grocer has a branded site that is only content based. A shopper could go through the exercise of looking at a recipe, wanting to add ingredients to cart only to find that items can be added to a list since the content is not shoppable. The customer must move to a different site to put the groceries in the cart not knowing if the previous list will be accessible.

Messy Experiences Depending on Delivery Type in Grocery

This grocer helps bring lists over to Curbside Pickup.

The piecemealing of content, shopping, delivery, and Ship-to-Home solutions that force the customer to navigate multiple online journeys can be frustrating and lead to abandonment. There is a great opportunity for food retailers to deliver a seamless experience where customer preferences carry through the journey, from shopping until the groceries are in the shopper’s home. Experiences that ease shopping, drive conversion, and increase loyalty, are top goals for all online retailers. Learn more tasty information when the 2022 Grocery Omnichannel Retail Index report is released mid-September. Contact us if you need help right now.

Rich Siefert

Author: Rich Siefert

Rich Siefert is a Senior Consultant, Practice Lead in OSF Digital´s Strategy group. He has over two decades of executive-level experience at large-scale retailers, particularly in the home categories, with a proven record in strategy, P&L management, and organizational leadership in an omnichannel environment.