The pandemic has changed a lot of things about the way we live, especially when it comes to grocery shopping. Hybrid, or omnichannel shopping, has become the most popular way individuals are getting their staple items and it looks like this isn’t going away anytime soon. From e-commerce to physical stores, customers want to have ample options readily available to them.
Along with the pandemic have come more unprecedented challenges related to supply chain issues, product availability, inflation, and rising gas prices. These roadblocks are forcing shoppers to adapt to new shopping habits. A 2022 grocery shopper trends report found that 86% of shoppers that are concerned about rising food prices are changing how they shop. Of those surveyed, 51% are looking for more deals, 35% are switching to store brands, 21% are buying less fresh meat and seafood, and 14% are buying less fresh produce.
This means shoppers aren’t settling for prices at their typical grocer – they are more actively comparing prices and evaluating their options. Having hybrid options allows them to mix and match what products they get from which store. For example, 62% of shoppers surveyed believe they save more time when shopping online, whereas 43% say they get better quality products in-store. So, an individual may choose to buy groceries online for one week but purchase fresh products in a physical store the next time.
The hybrid shopping method isn’t particularly new for grocery stores, but it is evolving fast. And to better engage your loyal customers, you must create new ways to make shopping simplified.
When it comes to e-commerce, many consumers believe they can pick items better themselves. This is why it’s crucial to build stronger relationships with online shoppers through efficient communication, smart product substitutions, and personalized suggestions. These efforts allow the buyer to still be in control even if they’re not the one making the selections.
Expectations around in-store experiences have grown as well. Self-checkout options have become essential for grocers as customers focus on convenience. Retailer’s apps and loyalty programs are also becoming more popular with in-store shoppers as they seek more recommendations and product locations.
Ultimately, adapting to retail technology is crucial for stores to stay competitive in the industry.