Online grocery shopping is growing—fast. In 2016, more than a third of online shoppers bought their groceries online versus 21 percent in 2015.
As behemoths like Amazon and Walmart.
com continue to advance their digital grocery offerings, regional supermarkets are
making strides in the e-commerce game to
compete, launching delivery and/or click-and-collect solutions for their shoppers.
We thought this would be a good
moment to pause, reflect and take stock of
our biggest learnings about what is working best in e-grocery. Here are the top three
lessons we have learned to help you succeed with launching a new, modern digital
1 The user experience must be your number one priority.
Buying groceries online is still new for most
shoppers, so grocers need to focus on making a shopper’s first online
experience as easy as possible, and make the user feel
like it is saving them time.
First impressions matter, and hesitant shoppers
need to be convinced of
the benefits of shopping
online within the very first
few minutes of trying it;
35 percent of consumers
choose convenience as
their biggest reason for
grocery shopping online.
That is why you need to prioritize the
shopper experience when building your
e-commerce site. Unnecessary clicks, con-
fusing navigation and cluttered user expe-
riences are sure to drive first time users
away; 25 percent will leave an e-commerce
shop before it is complete due to poor or
complicated site navigation.
2 Constantly evolve your digital experience.
Digital technology is always evolving, and
seemingly doing so at an accelerating pace.
New technologies are always in the news
and being rapidly embraced by all types
of businesses in order to compete for the
modern consumer’s mindshare.
This only helps to quicken the pace at
which these technologies are adopted, and
the consumer has become accustomed
to this form of iterative, frequent change.
Given this litany of digital experiences that
today’s modern shopper can choose from
to entertain themselves, the bar for what
they expect is extremely high and continues to rise.
In addition, Amazon has had its eye on
the grocery market and is emptying their
deep pockets into owning this category. In
fact, Amazon spent $13.3 billion last year
in R&D, and grocery is the only major retail
category in which it does not yet have a
national presence. You can bet that will
For brick-and-mortar retailers, first-mover
advantage is critical. Given that Amazon
and Walmart will almost always win on
price and logistics, it is critical that brick-and-mortar grocers lock in their existing
loyal shoppers through a high-quality
digital experience before these shoppers
stray—and never return.
Yet getting that initial shopper interest is not enough. Your digital experience
must not be treated as a one-off project,
but as an investment that is continuously
improved upon. Those bigger players are
not going to stop innovating, and neither
Take advantage of user feedback and
website analytics to learn what capabilities
your customers are using or wish they had,
and integrate those into your ever-evolving
experience. As it continues to improve, your
shoppers will continue to come back.
3 The way you launch your eCommerce xperience is as important as the
The way in which you manage the switch to
a new e-commerce shopper experience is
probably one of the most important parts
of the project. A lack of proper planning
and training around a launch is one of the
main reasons behind a painful launch.
To develop a strong foundation around
a new experience, it is essential to facilitate
the right communication at the right time,
both internally and externally.
Internally, that could mean kick-off presentations, town halls, memos or employee
marketing campaigns. Externally, explain
why you are making the change, how new
features will benefit the shopping experience, and entice your current shoppers with
free trials, special offers and more.
Doing so will establish a culture shift for
your team and customers that supports
ongoing iterations and evolutions of your
digital experience, something we now
know is crucial to your digital success. To
execute a top-notch launch consider the
mantra, “communication, early and often.”
By offering your shoppers an experience
that is simple, intuitive, and continuously
evolving, you will navigate the through the
tough terrain of today’s marketplace and
come out on top with a winning e-grocery
Chris Bryson is CEO of
Unata. He can be reached at
Launching a Modern e-grocery experience
A lack of proper planning and training can result in an underachieving website.
By Chris Bryson