- More shoppers plan to use online grocery this holiday season, according to new report from ServiceChannel. In a survey of more than 1,500 shoppers, 63% said they'd be somewhat likely to order a fully prepared meal from an online grocery service, while 32% who regularly buy online said they'd be very likely to do so.
- Half of shoppers who already buy groceries online plan to use the channel more than usual during the holidays. About 55% of in-store shoppers plan to go to the store at off-peak hours to alleviate stress.
- Nearly one-third of consumers are expecting grocery shopping to be more stressful than usual during the 2019 holiday season, the report found. Despite the stress, Americans are projected to spend over $1 trillion dollars, with food spending being the second biggest category after gifts.
As online grocery becomes increasingly mainstream, holiday shoppers are more willing to use it this year to cut down on holiday shopping stress and bypass crowded aisles. This presents grocers with an opportunity to introduce customers to their online services and to deepen loyalty with those who already use them.
Fully prepared meals appear to be a convenience play that can attract shoppers and drive them to buy online. Twenty-nine percent of shoppers surveyed have decided that a fully prepared holiday meal is the way to go for this holiday season. Nearly half (46%) of those who don’t already order groceries online said they would be open to ordering their meal through an online grocery service.
Retailers can capitalize on this interest by adding more holiday specials to their online offerings, particularly when it comes to targeting millennials and Gen Xers. Forty-seven percent of millennials and 53% of Gen Xers surveyed said they plan to shop online more than usual this holiday season.
For shoppers who still plan to head to the store, finding ways to reduce stress will be key. This can involve dedicated checkout lanes for holiday purchases, grouping holiday meal components together and offering promotions for commonly purchased holiday items. As grocery retailers compete for holiday dollars, the report says offering a top-notch experience and customer service can cut through the competition, focusing on sights, smells, tactile displays and sounds.
Deloitte's 2019 holiday retail survey found that e-commerce spending will grow 14 to 18% this holiday season, and that 81% of consumers are influenced in some way by a store’s holiday deals. Results also showed that 43% of consumers are planning to purchase food and beverage items for themselves this year, while 75% are more willing to splurge for something special and more expensive. This makes grocers' promos or special offers for premium items like alcohol, chocolate, specialty meats and pantry items particularly important.