- When it comes to offering a seamless grocery shopping experience, Target is rated better than Walmart and Kroger, according to a new assessment from Brick Meets Click. On a five-point scale, Target achieved an overall score of 3.4, Kroger got a 2.8 and Walmart scored a 2.3 in Brick Meets Click’s evaluation of digital solutions available to customers to use for in-store and online shopping.
- Brick Meets Click evaluated each retailer’s performance in three categories: accessibility, attractiveness and acceptability. Target scored highest in accessibility and acceptability, and second to Kroger in attractiveness.
- “If the goal of omnichannel is to enable shopping from anywhere, for anything, and any way a customer wants, then the seamless shopping rating highlights progress and opportunities against that goal. And, for seamless shopping to have a positive impact on a retailer’s results, customers must have access to the solutions, be attracted to the perceived benefits, and enjoy better outcomes from using these solutions,” said David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click, in a press release.
While strong digital and e-commerce offerings are important and the in-store experience remains essential, bridging the two channels is probably the most important element for grocery shoppers in today’s market, and grocers need to understand what type of experience they're offering. Shoppers today need to be able to move easily between digital platforms and physical stores, and companies are going to have to meet their needs to shop anywhere, any time and in any manner.
Overall, Target stood out in Brick Meets Click’s assessment for accessibility — providing shoppers with multiple online and in-store shopping options — and for acceptability, which entails offering better in-store navigation, search capabilities and a more customer-friendly set of tools. The retailer did fall short in the “attractiveness” category, primarily because shoppers can’t easily purchase frozen or refrigerated foods online. Brick Meets Click also noted that Kroger does a better job of saving customers money with digital deals and coupons.
Walmart and Kroger, which both have robust e-commerce offerings and strong physical presence as well, are not behind in the overall grocery game. But Brick Meets Click suggests they could do better in simplifying the grocery experience for shoppers across their brick-and-mortar and digital platforms. The evaluation concluded that all three retailer can take more steps to offer all of their shopping solutions within a single app, and can improve their checkout process with scan-and-go capabilities.
Last year, Target announced a $7 billion investment to turn its business around, with money going to delivery, e-commerce and several other efforts. From two-day shipping to a wider product assortment to curbside pickup for online orders, the investment seems to be paying off. However, even with these major improvements and its $550 million acquisition of Shipt to improve the grocery experience, Target's grocery offerings have left something to be desired, with sales lagging behind other departments like fashion and home goods. That could change as the retailer expands its food and beverage offerings — including more freshly prepared items and a better selection of fresh produce — and with continued improvements in technology.
Target CEO Brian Cornell wants stores to be the heart of the shopping experience, and that includes becoming a center for e-commerce fulfillment in addition to offering a stellar in-store experience. A large part of this is using Shipt, which is now available in 46 states, to personalize digital shopping and e-commerce. If this strategy is successful and people think of Target as a go-to retailer that can fulfill their needs across any channel, it’s likely that success in the grocery category will follow.
Target has made significant improvements to deliver a seamless shopping experience for customers, including curbside pickup, which is now available at 1,000 stores, in-store pickup, skip-the-line checkout this holiday season and its ever-improving Target app, which allows people to shop online and grab deals in-store via Cartwheel. The retailer is also piloting same-day grocery delivery through Shipt in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
“We know that an improved customer experience leads to stronger customer retention, higher spending rates, and more customer referrals or recommendations.” Bishop said in the press release.