The importance of supermarkets decreases as online sales increase consumers’ preference for mass, club

According to the recent US Grocery Shopper Trends report released by IMF and conducted in partnership with The Hartman Group, 49% of shoppers in 2018 and 2019 indicated that a supermarket was their primary store, but by early 2021 that number had dropped to 39% with 61% indicating a store in another channel as a starting point for groceries.

The second most popular channel behind supermarkets is mass, which was cited by 33% of shoppers as their main store in 2021 up from 27% in 2018, according to the report. Club also rose to prominence as a primary store for 8% of shoppers in 2021, up from 6% in 2018. Online-only commerce came last, with 6% citing it as a primary store this year versus 1% in 2018. .

“Online touchpoints appear to be a major driver of supermarket abandonment,”According to the report, which found that the proportion of online shoppers has grown from around half to almost two-thirds of adults in the past year and their frequency of online shopping has also increased.

Supermarkets fall behind in online sales

While the rapid adoption of online shopping has benefited retailers across all channels, supermarkets have lagged behind the masses and clubs when it comes to online shopping.

“The mass market has the great appeal of online shopping, with almost half (48%) of these mass purchases claiming to have purchased online from a mass store in the past three months. In contrast, less than a third of supermarket buyers (31%) placed an order online in a supermarket within the same timeframe ”,the report shows.

Part of that change was likely related to safety and convenience during the pandemic, as the Mace and the Club allowed consumers not only to buy groceries, but also to add homemade items to the same basket. and other items that are not traditionally sold in supermarkets at the same time.

But the study also found that an increasing importance of personal information security and history (up 7% from 2020) may have contributed to the mass shift and consistent inventory and information. precise on the shelf or with the product helped drive the switch to club.

Consumers spend less in primary stores

As the designation of a primary store by consumers evolves, so does the importance of that designation, at least in terms of the spend share.

According to IMF, shoppers have historically spent 74% to 76% of their total grocery budget in their main store, but this year’s report on U.S. Grocery Shoppers Trends found a “Significant decline”At 70% of the average share of the main store’s spend.

“The drop in the share of main stores could mean a large fragmentation of buyer spending,”or it could point to a deficiency of mass stores, online or other types of stores with regard to certain categories of food, such as fresh or prepared, according to the report.

The change could also reveal a way for supermarkets to regain buyer loyalty and for other channels to improve their offerings, he adds.


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David A. Albanese

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