February 9, 2017
A new report from NPD finds that though 52 million American consumers currently shop for groceries online, that number is expected to grow by 40% in the next six months alone.
That would make nearly 75 million Americans who shop online for groceries at least some of the time. The combination of time-crunched consumers and younger, tech-savvy demographics means that online grocery shopping may outpace in-person grocery shopping in the not too distant future.
This present challenges to brands who are working to get on or secure their space on retail shelves. For most online grocery shopping portals, a product search will bring up all similar products and initially only show the consumer a picture of the products, their net weight, and their price. Like it or not, consumers have become trained to not want to click through multiple pages and are more likely to choose a product on the first page of the search results.
With that in mind, food companies need to think about what they can do to
- Increase their brand recognition and recall of their brand name. In a perfect world what you want is customers putting your specific brand name into the online grocery search portal so that your product comes up first. Customers who specifically search for your product name are far less likely to switch brands when they’re shopping.
- What can you do to catch consumers’ eyes via your product picture. For some, this picture may be the very first interaction consumers’ have with your brand and if your photograph doesn’t catch their eye then you’ve lost that opportunity. Packaging has always been critical to food sales but in an online environment, where consumers can’t touch your product, your photo has to do all the talking for you.
- What can you do with the retailer to help promote your product in the search rankings? Each retailers’ system works a little bit differently but if possible, talk to a buyer about what options may be available to you to help boost your products’ rankings. This may include promotions such as coupons to consumers or deals with the retailer – such as paying for ‘free delivery’ for customers who purchase your products during a certain time period.