In the digital age, people have the luxury of buying whatever they need online. However, there are still many consumers who prefer to shop the traditional way. In a report released by The NPD Group, only 7% of consumers in the United States shop online for their groceries.
The Rise of Online Shopping Platforms
Consumers are not willing to adopt the online grocery shopping platform for various reasons, and one of them is that they want to pick out fresh items by themselves. There remains a significant number of the US population who prefer shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.
For instance, Amazon recently purchased the popular grocery chain Whole Foods to extend the online shopping experience of their Amazon Prime members. The acquisition is a big step for online shoppers including young professionals and urban consumers. The NPD Group predicts that online shopping will also expand faster due to the convenience factor appreciated by most shoppers.
In the same study, around 20 million of consumers who are new to online grocery shopping increased their virtual shopping activities, particularly on foods and beverages. The reason for this is that many online groceries offer a variety of unique products that traditional grocery stores do not carry. The diversity of products is another selling point of online grocery stores. But even if this is the case, it is a far cry to the hundreds of millions who still prefer to shop at brick-and-mortar grocery stores.
Why Are Traditional Grocery Stores Still Popular?
So why are brick-and-mortar stores here to stay? While one of the strongest points of online shopping is the convenience, there are still many barriers that they need to address. Aside from the fact that many people want to check and pick out food themselves, many people report the nostalgia that shopping in brick-and-mortar grocery stores provides. Another barrier to shopping for food online is higher costs.
Most consumers believe that online stores do not maintain high overhead costs so they can offer lower prices. However, it is the consumers who have to suffer from paying delivery charges or even membership fees. Consumers, in a nutshell, simply want to get their food fresh and now!
What Should Brick & Mortar Grocery Do?
While online grocery stores are becoming popular among the millennials, brick-and-mortar stores are here to stay. But to improve the shopping experience for their customers, they need to step up their strategies. According to Darren Seifer, industry analyst of the NPD Group, B&Ms need to market unique needs of consumers so that they can compete with online groceries that are offering a wider variety of products that brick-and-mortar stores do not usually carry. By doing so, they can keep up with the pressure of time and the demands of their customers.
Inspired by www.npd.com