Technology has impacted the traditional path to purchase, and it’s beginning to affect grocery and CPG purchases. However, technology hasn’t slowed down, and new advancements mean the omnishopper world is constantly evolving. Omnishoppers have new ways to research their needs and discover products. For retail and manufacturer marketers, that means there’s only one way to keep up: make decisions using recent and reliable data.
The Role of Research for Omnishoppers
Technology offers omnishoppers an opportunity to learn more about products and brands, and they’re taking advantage of it. According to the Omnishopper 2017 report from Mastercard, 64% of consumers do more research than two years ago because there is a plethora of information available. Rather than be overwhelmed by information, 41% actively seek more information about products, and 53% use it to compare prices, while 43% use it to compare products. What’s more, a third of shoppers leverage technology more often to choose the right products that correctly meet their needs.
This supports the growing demand for brand transparency. In a recent article on transparency, we identified how shoppers want to have a clear understanding of who a brand is, how that brand fits into the social and environmental landscape, the sourcing and nature of their ingredients, and much more. Brands that offer transparency improve consideration and intent, while retailers have an opportunity to generate more sales.
What That Means for You
Making a commitment to conduct more market research about your target shopper segments will arm you with insights to correctly address their interests, pain points, and needs. Even as they change (sometimes rapidly) over time, including information on your brand, production, and other areas can be impactful to your shoppers. It will also allow you to reach them through the right platforms, on the right devices, at the right moments to influence their decision process. Building the marketing strategy for each campaign on timely facts allows you to accurately target your omnichannel marketing efforts and deliver the best possible ROI.
What Current Research Is Saying About Omnishoppers
Despite the fact that 75% of shoppers preferred purchasing groceries mostly in-store, Nielsen and the Food Marketing Institute forecast online grocery sales could grow into a $100 billion industry. That’s due to disruptors such as meal kits, grocery delivery, and FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) brands that are becoming direct-to-consumer. The industry should continue to tap into how and why shoppers are buying in-store and online.
Part of this is generational differences. For instance, when it comes to the type of online grocery orders being made now, Nielsen says:
- 65% of Millennials will do quick orders (i.e., 10 items or less) online, but only 15% will do so for a large restock order (i.e., 40 or more items).
- 55% of Boomers and 53% of the Greatest Generation (those born between 1910 and 1924) will use the internet for quick orders, while 22% and 25% (respectively) will do so for large restock orders.
- 83% of Boomers order online for at-home delivery, but only 13% of Boomers will order for in-store pickup.
- Only 76% of Millennials order online for at-home delivery, but 18% order for in-store pickup.
Overtime, these numbers could change. Perhaps as Boomers age, they’ll want to take advantage of delivery options more often, or as Millennials become more focused on their careers and families, they may want to take better advantage of online orders for large restock trips. Perhaps your target shoppers in particular don’t adhere to these overarching norms.
Each category is also impacted differently, which is seen by examining where shoppers prefer to make specific types of impulse purchases. Surprisingly, 5% of grocery impulse buys are actually made online along with 4.4% of snacks, but as you may expect, 9.4% of frozen food impulse buys are made in-store, according to Nielsen. Marketing to various CPG categories should be based on data insights. If not, brands could miss key impulse purchases.
How Omnishopping Continues to Evolve
It isn’t merely an assumption that omnishopper habits will change. They’ve already done so in response to advances in technology, the availability of data, and the accessibility of products. Shoppers are doing more research now thanks to such advancements. Also, according to the Mastercard study, 82% of shoppers agree they’re smarter about their purchases than they were a few years ago, which is up 2% from 2015. Even the number of shoppers who enjoy utilizing technology while shopping either “somewhat” or “a great deal” grew by a percentage point to 78%. On the other hand, when asked how often they use technology to shop, only 17% of Boomers said “always,” which is a considerable decrease from previous surveys.
It’s important to recognize that omnishoppers do not divide online and offline shopping. For them, it’s a holistic experience that matches certain needs. The Mastercard report revealed a new dynamic that proves this trend is continuing. When having to choose solely between online or offline with regards to which had better customer service, 40% said in-store. However, when the answer included “both in-store and online,” 41% chose both.
Omnishoppers will continue to rely on the latest technology and advancements to enhance their shopping experience. CPG and grocery marketers, manufacturers, and retailers will only succeed if they develop their efforts utilizing fact-based research about their specific target shoppers. The research we’ve outlined above can be used as a starting place to generate your own strategy of research, which will allow you to create powerful marketing campaigns that yield real results for your bottom line.