A recent article in Supermarket News questioned whether online grocery sales are really positioned to explode in the coming five years. Although the current share of grocery volume through online sales is estimated at only 2%, skeptical grocery retailers who ignore the growth projections and digital consumer shift run the risk not properly supporting physical shopping experiences and ultimately losing volume in their core selling channel.
Increasingly, shoppers planning or executing physical store trips are turning to mobile and digital solutions to guide purchase decisions. 78% of millennials rely on the internet to inform real-world purchases, according to The Center for Generational Kinetics. A survey of nearly 3,000 affluent US shoppers reported that 37% read ratings and reviews on their mobile devices while they are shopping in-store. Many categories carried in grocery retail are driven by experience and content, rather than promotional activity. Ever tried to move the needle promotionally on vitamins outside of January? How much mascara are beauty shoppers willing to stockpile due to a BOGO event?
Shopper-generated content is increasingly the coin in the retail realm. It is one arrow in the mobile-digital quiver of omnichannel retailers. Home and garden shoppers are regularly turning to their mobile devices to help identify in-store product locations and product ratings to speed their store visits. And the friction in accessing shopper-generated content is decreasing at a rapid rate. Many retail mobile apps include product scanning capabilities to access pricing, nutritional information, usage videos, question and answer submission portals and shopper generated reviews. As shoppers grow accustomed to these features in other channels, they will begin to expect them from the retailers they visit most often: grocers.
At PowerReviews, we are dedicated to enabling the consumer packaged good manufacturer and retailer ecosystem with the ability to collect and distribute shopper-generated content from physical and digital shopping trips across all categories. These include center store and perimeter categories like the floral department, the deli and the custom-order bakery. These insights help shoppers make informed decisions about new product trials while assisting retailers and manufacturers with insights to improve product and service offerings. Our cloud-based platform easily integrates into retailer and manufacturer websites and mobile apps to capture and share the opinions of shoppers. The PowerReviews Open Network matches reviews to the UPC or manufacturer level and enables the reviews collected at one touchpoint to be shared through other channels selling the same product.
Don’t think that eCommerce is the only reason you might need to connect with your shopping community through mobile digital platforms. Doing so could jeopardize in-store trips already underway. Do you really want to risk shoppers turning to Amazon to learn about the products you carry while in your store? That sounds like a recipe for disaster!