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BizReport : Ecommerce : June 15, 2020

Instacart surpasses Walmart's online grocery share, here's how others can follow

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began a growing number of consumers have turned to online shopping not just for clothing or niche items but for everyday necessities - groceries, packaged goods, and health/beauty items. According to one new report, since the pandemic began Instacart's online shopping hub blew past Walmart's market share. Does this foretell a change in the ecommerce weather?

by Kristina Knight

"When it comes to Instacart toppling Walmart's lead in the space, it's clear that even with abundant resources and funds, Walmart's ecommerce and supply chain strategies fell flat. While consumers are overwhelmingly more open to grocery delivery after global lockdowns, one bad experience - even with a brand as recognizable and powerful as Walmart - is enough to turn someone off from a service forever. As more data emerges on the last six months, we'll undoubtedly find more cases of winners and losers when it comes to ecommerce and supply chain efforts," said Marcel Hollerbach, CMO, Productsup.

According to Hollerbach the biggest change is that older consumers, those over age 50, have turned to online options for their groceries, a demo that had previously been resistant to online grocery buying. In addition to sites like Instacart, online restaurant delivery services like GrubHub are also seeing a sharp uptick in use.

But your business isn't a restaurant or grocery store? According to Hollerbach, there are takeaways from merchants across the board because people won't stop online buying post-pandemic.

"Merchants need to take the uptick in Instacart use as a sign that ecommerce will be dominating the retail industry for the immediate future and most likely long-term. If you're a seller who hasn't already begun a complete overhaul of your ecommerce strategy to achieve seamless end-to-end purchasing, you may soon find yourself struggling. This starts with improving feed management. Shoppers should see accurate inventory and product descriptions when browsing online, coupled with an agile supply chain that can deliver items to their place of residence in a timely manner," said Hollerbach.  

What can merchants do to ensure their online presence and space are shopper friendly?

"How well merchants can manage product listings across every channel is key when it comes to ecommerce. While secure payments, easy checkout and the like are extremely important, sellers first need to win the battle of getting consumers to add items to their shopping carts," said Hollerbach. "Product listings need to have detailed descriptions, quality images and accurate information - and they need to be consistent across all selling channels. Consumers will find the most dissatisfaction when products arrive on their doorstep that don't match their online description, which ultimately damages customer trust. In the grocery space specifically, there's a higher expectation of perfection given you can't choose the freshest vegetables or shiniest apple in-store. Streamlining feed management and automating product content syndication can help manage those consumer expectations."

First, make sure add-to-cart options are simple. This means detailed product listings so that the shopper knows which item is needed and that the add-to-cart button is easy to find and click. Second, for grocery brands adding a product content syndication feed will help shoppers make the best choices for fresh produce and other items. Third, make sure payment options are secure and that checkout processes are streamlined.

Tags: ecommerce, ecommerce trends, Instacart, online grocery shopping, ProductsUp, walmart

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