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BizReport : Ecommerce : September 08, 2016

Expert: Why grocery brands must go digital

People are buying more and more things online, but food remains one category in which in-store continues to win out. But, according to one expert, the way consumers interact and engage with grocery brands is changing - quickly.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What is driving the change in how shoppers engage with their grocery stores?

Barry Clogan, SVP of Business Consulting Services, MyWebGrocer: The expectations of the digitally savvy consumer have had a significant impact on the way shoppers engage with grocery stores. According to a report by Goldman Sachs, the "digital natives" born between 1980 and 2000 comprise one of the largest generations in history. These consumers are used to shopping on the go, using mobile devices to make both online purchases and enhance in-store experiences. Unlike previous generations, they're not brand loyal. Instead they prefer to browse, comparing prices and products before making a decision.

Kristina: What does this change mean for grocers?

Barry: These shopping habits mean grocers need to engage with consumers in personal ways across various channels and devices. Traditional mass marketing strategies will fall flat for this cohort. Younger shoppers are looking for brands that not only meet their needs, but also align with their lifestyles and beliefs. Grocers must engage with consumers in two-way conversations, delivering personalized content that adds value rather than adding to the noise.

Kristina: Why are chatbots important for grocery brands?

Barry: Chatbots are a great way to facilitate dialog. Millennials are already engaged on their mobile phones during the shopping experience -- comparing prices, researching ingredients or looking up recipes -- so, it's a natural platform for interaction. Chatbots also provide a familiar social media element, providing a more comfortable user experience.

Tags: ecommerce, ecommerce trends, grocery ecommerce, grocery store trends, MyWebGrocer

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