- H-E-B, Publix and Aldi perform the best at fulfilling online orders through pickup among grocery brands, according to the latest e-commerce experience report from market research firm Ipsos.
- H-E-B nabbed the top spot based on customer feedback in Ipsos’ survey of 14 grocery chains largely due to its in-stock availability, pickup scheduling and "good" order pickup instructions. The Texas grocer’s "perfect" order accuracy, no fees or minimums and clear communication also helped it stand out, Ipsos noted.
- Publix came in at No. 2 thanks to its communication, order accuracy, streamlined contactless handoffs and easy-to-use ordering system. Meanwhile, Aldi scored points for its pickup scheduling flexibility, in-stock availability, order accuracy and overall customer satisfaction.
As grocers look to retain pandemic-induced online sales gains, Ipsos’ latest report shines a light on the features consumers value most in click-and-collect: order accuracy, pickup time availability, good communication and in-stock availability.
Digital grocery sales have started declining, but are still higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to Brick Meets Click. As retailers look to post-pandemic shopping trends, e-commerce profitability is top of mind. Pickup offers more favorable economics for grocers, with the ability to use its existing store assortment and parking lots as key assets while increasingly selling directly to consumers.
Ipsos reported that 78% of U.S. consumers have increased their use of click-and-collect services since the pandemic began last year. Sixty-nine percent, the firm noted, plan to keep shopping online at the same or greater levels into the future.
The Ipsos report surveyed 2,000 people in the U.S. on their shopping habits and perceptions and also conducted 100 "mystery shops" for each brand.
Ipsos also outlined the top restaurant brands for pickup service according to its research, and provided recommendations for both grocers and restaurants on areas to improve. Those suggestions include making ordering systems easy to use, giving clear and concise instructions for pickup orders, cutting down wait times for picking up orders and improving order accuracy.
“Ordering portals that were easy to navigate led to higher scores; platforms that weren’t user-friendly raised complaints almost without exception,” Ipsos said.
With pickup continuing to dominate over ship-to-home and delivery for grocery e-commerce orders, grocers are turning to innovations to expand their customer reach. This includes pickup lockers and automated kiosks, which can be placed on store grounds or in separate locations like office buildings. Grocers have also invested in geofencing technology that can reduce wait times by tracking a shoppers' journey to the store to pick up an order.