What a difference a year makes!
In the May 14th, 2019 article in Super Market News, the following stats were recorded:
“In its U.S. Online Grocery Survey 2019, released Tuesday, Coresight said 36.8% of 1,888 internet-using adults polled bought groceries online in the previous 12 months, up from 23.1% in the 2018 study. Based on U.S. Census Bureau data, the 2019 percentage equates to approximately 93 million online grocery purchasers, a gain of nearly 35 million from last year.
‘This year, some 39.5% said they expect to shop online for groceries in the next 12 months, representing only a minor uplift from actual shopper numbers (past 12 months),” Coresight founder and CEO Deborah Weinswig wrote in the report. “The potential to grow the online market lies in the 21% who say they don’t know if they will buy groceries online in the next year.”
Taken as separate channels, as a percentage of the total attributable sales, eCommerce for grocery as recently as last year remained a smaller contributor than brick and mortar.
But those of us who specialize in the study of the omni channel influence on overall shopper behavior know that regardless of where the actual purchase takes place, eCommerce sites play a huge role in discovery, consideration and final shopper choice.
Fast forward to today, with many in lockdown, eCommerce has assumed an even greater role in global consumers accessing food and the essentials they need for subsistence.
As experts in shopper experience, we have applied our decades of expertise observing and evaluating consumers’ interactions and behavior with brands in traditional brick and mortar settings, to form the core of all our products that uncover omni channel shopping insights. Our Accelerated FlashSuite includes AI Pack Screener, which enables brands to rapidly determine a metric for pack design success without launching a survey among consumers. AI Pack Screener leverages our extensive database of packs and shelves, deploying expert panel and AI analytics to evaluate and predict the best performing packs designs in development.
Most interaction with brands online takes place on retailer websites or apps, where shopper attention focuses primarily on pack / product visuals as a prime Driver of Influence for consumer choice. Therefore, it is imperative that brands recognize the nuances of optimal pack / product images, as they differ from designs driven predominantly for pack on shelf, in order to ensure eCommerce success.
So in context of the current COVID-19 crisis, but actually for a future in which eCommerce for grocery could exceed 20%, we are pleased to announce a new enhancement to the AI Pack Screener, which we have been working on for months, is now available. We are offering an add-on module that enables additional expert analysis of the pack in the context of the online eCommerce environment as well. In the optional module, pack designs and/or hero images are evaluated within an eCommerce context. We apply our eCommerce expert model to help you identify and optimize the winning designs.
It is impossible for anyone to definitively anticipate the percentage of grocery shopping will move exclusively online, once the current pandemic subsides. But what we can say for certain is that consumers will be habituated to behavior that will include eCommerce for grocery, even more than previous statistics could have predicted. In that new paradigm, more than ever, brands will need to understand how their pack designs online influence how their products are found, considered and chosen! And we are thrilled to be able to help!
Max Zalewski is a Director with the PRS IN VIVO Innovation Team. Having been with PRS IN VIVO for more than 7 years, Max has provided guidance and consultancy to clients out of our US, UK, Germany and Switzerland offices, before shifting his focus on innovation. Contact him to discuss how the eCommerce module of AI Pack Screener can help you identify winning designs.