Ways to Persuade In-Store Shoppers

For Grocers, Online and Offline Shopping Is A Continuum

Only a small number of consumers buy their groceries online. This gives retail grocers the false impression that online isn’t important. It is. Whether they’re researching new products, looking for the best price, or checking out new recipes, a majority of grocery shopping is now done online—even when customers don’t purchase there. In fact:

Multi-channel, shopper behavior, digital influence on shopping, digital channel, retail revenues

Shoppers Integrate Online and In-store Activities

For grocers, it is no longer correct to separate online and offline shopping. It’s not an either/or story, it’s a continuum. Because a growing number of online shoppers continue their online journey once they’re inside the store.

It’s All About the Experience

Most physical retailers would agree that a great shopping experience is a worthwhile activity to nurture, whether a purchase occurs or not.  When customers shop a store, they consider products from any number of displays, shelves, and fixtures—all engineered to persuade them to purchase. As a result, customers who enjoy their experience in your store may come back for something they saw in an earlier trip. You’ve influenced their future purchasing behavior. The way you merchandised the store added value to their shopping experience and inspired them to return.

It’s the same with online content. Done properly, the online shopping experience includes not just pricing and product details, it takes care to inspire customers to make the product part of their lives. And adds value to their shopping experience.

Shoppers Go Online Because They Want More

Unfortunately, the content available from most grocer’s sites and apps falls grievously short on the experience scale. Most retailers still do a poor job of providing the kind of persuasive content that consumers see on a typical CPG site. Instead, they offer a sea of products punctuated by weekly specials and coupons, which may actually make the journey harder. Just take a look:

This retailer site is delivering a typical inventory-based e-commerce experience and missing the opportunity to really interact with the customer while they shop. The page is heavy on simple, unpersuasive product shots and light on anything else. There’s very little to invite and inspire. Let’s compare that to the content on a popular CPG site:

LaCroix Sparkling Water

Here, the focus is on the consumer and how the product enhances their life. It’s bright, interesting, and offers multiple ways for them to engage. The content doesn’t just push pricing and ingredients, it creates a sense of connection with the LaCroix brand.

Smart Retailers Give Shoppers What They Want

How could this affect your shopper? Once they are inside your store and ready to buy, your content can make a difference. Retailers and CPGs can work together to improve the in-store/online experience by mining the best of both site models. Like adding recipe suggestions on a gluten-free product listing to help out a parent dealing with a kid’s dietary restrictions. Or including a video with recent reviews to promote a new product. Or finding ways to speak to consumers with health restrictions. Or using lifestyle photography and consumer reviews to create a sense of belonging.

There’s a virtually untapped opportunity to offer better digital content to grocery customers.

The way our customers shop has changed. Shouldn’t we change too?