Why an Omnichannel Grocery Strategy Is the Key for Today’s Grocer

Michael Novosel
6 minute read

We’ve seen a dramatic shift in how people spend. One of the larger takeaways is that online spending among consumers has increased and remains high even as lockdown restrictions have been lifted. Compared to pre-Covid behaviors, online retail and restaurant delivery are both up 131% and 244% year over year respectively, showing customers have moved online and are staying there. However, the question on most marketers’ minds is: how do we maintain this momentum?  To help answer this question, Michael Novosel, Grocery Industry Lead, shares some tips on how grocers can capitalize on the opportunity in front of them and accelerate omnichannel grocery adoption to maximize customer lifetime value. 

Convert those ‘bricks’ to ‘clicks’

We know that 75.1% of customers are in-store only – converting these shoppers through an omnichannel grocery plan to an online channel means opening net new lanes of revenue. Online shoppers spend more and do so more often than shoppers that primarily shop in store. 

Through Cardlytics’ view into observed consumer spend, we have seen online basket ranges in excess of $15, greater than the typical in-store basket size –likely because consumers are now using online retailers to ‘stock up’ on every day or repeat items.  

Implementing a digital shopping experience is your opportunity to connect with your best customers, in a new format they’ve yet to experience. You can meet more of your customers where they are, increasing basket size, trip frequency, and revenue. For many of our grocers, it starts first with investing in owned and paid personalization strategies to ensure that when your habitual in-store consumer considers online trial, they’re presented with the products and pairings that they most frequently consider when spending in-store. 

Then, through a partnership with Cardlytics, we work to identify: 

  1. Habitual in-store shoppers 
  2. Shoppers that have not yet spent with you online but show consistent online spend at your peer set 

Target declining shoppers

Did you experience a lapse in customers once restaurants started reopening? Or maybe you gained new customers that tried your brand once but did not return. You are not alone. Grocery dominance was eclipsed by restaurant re-openings earlier this year and dollar share is being redistributed back to pre-pandemic times. Consumers haven’t stopped spending in this category, they’ve just shifted their money elsewhere, either to a new grocer or to restaurants. We help client brands grow market share by giving them a “whole wallet view” into how their ideal customers are spending with competitors and in untapped categories that may have stolen your customers away— like ready to eat meals, meal kits or even non-food items. Cardlytics identifies where these lapsed customers and trialists went, whether they’re worth re-engaging, and delivers a targeted marketing campaign to bring them back to your brand. 

Online adoption is in the early innings. But there’s plenty of opportunity for growth

Total penetration of online shoppers remains below 10%. Even if you are a brand that saw strong and sustained adoption of your investment in e-commerce, don’t get comfortable, because the trend has barely started and there is plenty of room to grow. The right omnichannel marketing strategy will unlock huge opportunity to continue this momentum by analyzing where residual opportunity remains that may have been inadvertently overlooked during the surge of early Covid.  

Investing in the customer experience to boost revenue

According to this recent survey, half of [grocery] shoppers abandoned the e-commerce channel after one online purchase but those who stayed engaged became more loyal. And according to our insights, customers that engage in omnichannel behavior typically spend between 2 and 2.5 times more than regular customers.  In turn, retailers able to retain online and omnichannel shoppers — and nudge in-store shoppers to make online purchases — will gain long-term loyalty. 

With Cardlytics, you can drive tangible revenue thanks to our ability to ‘align the stars,’ by connecting the right people to the right rewards. Our insights-led approach to identifying, targeting and converting your ideal buyers can jumpstart new marketing-attributable incremental sales and position your omnichannel grocery strategy as an important driver of your broader customer and growth initiatives. 

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