The Friday Checkout is a weekly column providing more insight on the news, rounding up the announcements you may have missed and sharing what’s to come.
Omnichannel has become the new norm, according to new research from Pymnts.com and Chicory.
In pre-pandemic times, roughly 63% of consumers shopped in brick-and-mortar stores for the majority of their basic grocery needs, but that figure has dropped to 44% now due to the rise of e-commerce, according to Pymnts’ report. Baskets have also shrunk for physical stores since the pre-pandemic period, with the average number of items purchased per visit declining to four from six, the payment data firm determined.
“Across all age groups, the share of hybrid shoppers remained relatively steady despite the rise of all-digital shoppers, underscoring the systemic shift toward digital channels,” Pymnts noted in its report.
Meanwhile, the fourth installment of Chicory’s annual online grocery shopping report indicated that consumers who spend the most on online grocery orders (more than $200 per transaction) are also more likely than other shoppers to place orders daily or weekly. Most shoppers spend between $51 and $200 per online order, and those consumers order primarily on a weekly or monthly basis, the advertising company found.
Chicory’s was based on a survey of 1,337 U.S. consumers on Dec. 30, 2022, that garnered 965 qualified respondents. Pymnt’s research was based on a survey of 2,426 U.S. consumers between Dec. 22 and Dec. 25, 2022.
Both reports cited convenience and deals as top factors pushing consumers toward online shopping. While price might be a surprising reason behind digital adoption given that retailers can mark up prices online to compensate for e-commerce losses, consumers are lured by the promotions and perks.
Fifty-four percent cited high prices or the lack of benefits and deals at brick-and-mortar stores as a reason why they turned online, according to Pymnts.
For online consumers, content is key. Chicory’s research found that more than half (51%) of surveyed consumers are likely or very likely to buy food directly from online food content, such as food blogs, recipe sites and social platforms. In many ways, that finding is no surprise, given that sites like those are already sources of meal inspiration.
“Consumers are more comfortable than ever browsing for deals online, meal planning using digital recipes, and purchasing their full shopping lists in just a few clicks,” Chicory CEO and co-founder Yuni Sameshima said in a statement. “CPG and grocery retailers can capitalize on this trend by investing in ecommerce solutions that meet consumers where they are, and in the moments that matter.”
Marty escaped from the Hellertown Giant and almost made it to freedom before he was wrangled back to his grocery prison.— Lehigh Valley with Love (@LVwithLove) February 6, 2023
????️Rebecca Prendergast#marty #giant #martytherobot #singularity #freemarty #giant #giantsupermarket #giantmarty #lehighvalley #hellertown #riseofthemachines pic.twitter.com/mURmMI7BfM
In case you missed it
The Giant Company’s electronic fleet hits the street
The Giant Company has rolled out four electronic vehicles to the Philadelphia area that will fulfill Giant Direct deliveries as well as reduce the company’s environmental footprint, according to a Tuesday press release.
These new electric vehicles are the first electronic ones added to the grocer’s fleet of 164 vehicles. They can travel up to 108 miles per charge, prevent just shy of 172,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year and factor out nearly 9,000 gallons of gas annually, per the grocer’s announcement.
The Giant Company said it intends to introduce more all-electronic vehicles to its delivery service over the next few years.
Earlier this week at a Giant in Hellertown, Pennsylvania, the store’s robotic assistant — affectionately named Marty — broke free from the store and was caught roaming about the parking lot, according to Wednesday news reports.
“[Marty] was just on a fresh air break,” a Giant spokesperson told ABC27.
Shoppers caught Marty on his impromptu break to the parking lot on video from their cars, with a clip showing a store associate pushing Marty back to his post safely inside the Giant store.
Marty robots, complete with googly eyes, rolled out to stores January 2019 following a successful pilot that showed they improved in-store efficiencies and gave employees more time to focus on helping customers, according to a press release.
Publix shuttle service
When the closing of a Kroger in Decatur, Georgia, took away the only walkable grocery store for many in the community last month, Publix and the Decatur Downtown Development Authority partnered to start a 90-day shuttle service pilot program to bring shoppers located downtown to the nearest Publix.
The shuttle service, which is set to run until April 18, offers continuous rides from 10 a..m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with numerous pickup and dropoff spots in downtown Decatur.
Number of the week: 43%
That’s the proportion of grocers that plan to name a senior executive to head their sustainability-focused initiatives this year, according to data released Tuesday by analytics company Incisiv and Wynshop, an e-commerce technology supplier. Waste reduction, energy efficiency and packaging improvements are the top three sustainability priorities among food retailers represented in the firms’ State of Digital Grocery Performance Scorecard for January 2023.
Inflation figures due
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is set to reveal Consumer Price Index data for January on Valentine’s Day. The numbers will provide further clarity about the direction prices took during the first few weeks of 2023 following a year marked by sharply elevated inflation across the economy.
Retail sales stats to come out
The U.S. Census Bureau plans to release retail sales data for January on Wednesday. The data will offer insight into how inflation and other factors affected sales for the grocery industry as 2023 got underway.
Ahold Delhaize earnings
The Dutch supermarket company is scheduled to release its results for the fourth quarter of 2022 and all of last year on Wednesday.