This is a sponsored guest post.
Grocery Shopping has changed in more ways than one over the past decade. These changes have happened mainly as a result of the growth of technology and innovations. Another key factor that has affected grocery shopping is the change in consumer preferences.
These changes have revolutionized not just grocery shopping, but the retail market itself. From a time when consumers used to be loyal to one store, today the plethora of options available have made the market extremely competitive.
Online shopping has drastically changed the retail sector, with more and more people preferring to buy products online. However, in the grocery segment, online shopping has not grown as it has in the retail sector as a whole. Around 5.5% of total grocery sales happen online. The reason for this low rate is because consumers prefer to buy grocery goods in person, especially for fresh produce.
Following are some of the latest trends in grocery shopping that are changing the way shopping is being done:
1. Changing preferences
Consumer preferences change rapidly and organizations need are evolving fast to be in tune with the changing preferences. Price used to be key criteria for most consumers who would scout around looking for the lowest prices in the market. This led to the growth of low price stores, deals, and online stores that cater to those looking for low priced goods.
But today, the preferences of consumers has changed. Quality is now more important than price. Many consumers are ready to pay a premium for quality.
This has resulted in the focus on quality in grocery products. Especially, when it comes to fresh produce like meat, vegetables, milk, and eggs most consumers are not ready to compromise on quality. The fear of use of pesticides and its link to cancer has resulted in the growth of organic farming that is chemical free. Many consumers are ready to spend more to buy organic food products that are safe.
2. Variety shopping
Thanks to the intense competition, consumers are spoilt for choice. There are a large number of retail outlets that offer a variety of products that cater to consumer preferences. Consumers are ready to shop around to find the product of their choice. There are also a large number of brands in the market offering innovative products to consumers.
This has led to the growth of more stores, both offline and online. In the online space, even small retailers are expanding into the online business.
In the brick and mortar segment, there are new stores offering niche products. Conventional stores are finding it difficult to match up to competition. This has led to the growth of specialized stores like stores offering organic products, farm fresh suppliers, and wellness food products.
3. Technology benefits
Technology is changing every field of work including grocery shopping. One aspect is, of course, the growth of online grocery shopping where customers can shop from the convenience of their homes. There are other applications of technology that are leading to innovative services being offered.
One is home delivery of products from different stores. Companies like mercato.com are allowing customers to order the products of their choice from the stores of their choice and get it delivered to their homes. The best of brick and mortar stores are brought online thanks to such services.
Many innovations are coming up. One is that stores are now offering in-store experiences to offer value to customers. Quick meal counters in the store are available offering fresh food. Cooking classes, full-service sales of meat, and entertainment options are being provided to attract customers to stores.
The use of drones for delivery of products shopped online is an upcoming trend. Offering meal kits to make cooking easy is another innovation in the grocery store.
These grocery shopping trends have drastically changed the way retailing is done and the biggest beneficiary of this is the consumer.
Mobile technology is growing and is affecting online retail. The use of apps for ordering products is common. Mobile apps are also being used in stores. Apps can be used to find out more information about products like health and nutritional information. Apps are being used to find offers in a store and even buy online from a physical store.