Ding Dong: What Grocery Delivery Users Want

by | 3 minute read

We deliv­er” is the boast of online com­pa­nies that bring food, or even entire meals, to your home. So could this make your local gro­cer a thing of the past? Why go to the super­mar­ket when it can come to you? Seat­tle mom Chris­tine Holm gets gro­ceries from Ama­zon, from the company’s new super-fast Prime Now ser­vice."

My hus­band and I both will stay up late to watch TV after the baby’s in bed. And we think what ice cream we can order?” she laughed.

"Her items come to her in just one hour," Anna Wern­er wrote for CBS News.

What it real­ly is about is sav­ing your time,” said Stephe­nie Landry, who heads up Prime Now. “There’s lots of peo­ple who don’t want to be in lines.”

7.9% of peo­ple, in fact. That's what the most recent Audi­enceS­CAN study found when sur­vey tak­ers were asked if they've had gro­ceries deliv­ered to their homes.

"Landry walked Wern­er through an Ama­zon facil­i­ty (which she called “orga­nized chaos”), where work­ers take those online orders and fill up brown paper bags for deliv­ery. “We are usu­al­ly car­ry­ing some­where between 20,000 and 40,000 items,” Landry said. For larg­er orders, the com­pa­ny also offers Ama­zon Fresh, an online gro­cery store with even big­ger ware­hous­es."

"And it’s not just Ama­zon: gro­cery chains (like Safe­way and Whole Foods) and even Google are among at least 50 major out­lets offer­ing online deliv­ery. Sales are up 15% from 2015, and could top $12 bil­lion this year."

Local gro­cers can take advan­tage of this trend by offer­ing their own deliv­ery ser­vices. TV spots and direct mail ads can be effec­tive in reach­ing Gro­cery Deliv­ery Users, with 48% and 45%, respec­tive­ly, tak­ing action. But a dai­ly deal could con­vince them to try it out for the first time. Gro­cery Deliv­ery Users are 72% more like­ly than aver­age con­sumers to take action after see­ing dai­ly deals.

"So with all these new ser­vices, prof­its can’t be far behind, right? Not so fast," says retail ana­lyst Kurt Jet­ta. He says the pro­lif­er­a­tion of online gro­cery ser­vices is a sign of what he calls the “Sheep Effect”:  “They’re just, ‘Well, they’re doin’ it, they’re doin’ it …’ But, like, just stop and think: Is that right for you?”

"Jet­ta says online gro­cery shop­ping accounts for just 1.5% of the $800 bil­lion gro­cery mar­ket. A key rea­son is that right now, he says, buy­ing gro­ceries online is work."

A grocer's sweet spot could be the par­ents of elementary-aged kids. Accord­ing to the lat­est Audi­enceS­CAN study, 23.4% of Gro­cery Deliv­ery Users have chil­dren aged 6 to 9.

"For exam­ple, try­ing to buy a can of baked beans online: “At any one time, you’re get­ting six [on screen]. You can’t real­ly tell the size, you don’t have a frame of ref­er­ence.” Where­as in your gro­cery store, Jet­ta said, “I have it all. I just see it all at once. I’m usu­al­ly famil­iar with the lay­out. I can just go and do it, and on to the next cat­e­go­ry.”

"Plus, online shop­ping may save you time, but not mon­ey. Prices can be up to 25 per­cent high­er — and Jet­ta says data shows 90% of con­sumers still pre­fer the tra­di­tion­al gro­cery store."

Audi­enceS­CAN data is avail­able as part of a sub­scrip­tion to AdMall for Agen­cies, or with the Sales­Fu­el API. Media com­pa­nies can access Audi­enceS­CAN data through the Audi­enceS­CAN Reports in AdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Court­ney is the Edi­tor for Sales­Fu­el Today. She ana­lyzes sec­ondary cus­tomer research and our pri­ma­ry Audi­enceS­CAN research. Court­ney is a grad­u­ate of Mid­dle Ten­nessee State Uni­ver­si­ty.