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Survey: Online grocery shoppers are more loyal

Customers who digitally shop for groceries show higher levels of loyalty to brands and retailers.

Omnichannel grocers may want to target digital customers with their branding and promotional efforts.

According to "The Impact of Store and Brand Loyalty in the Omnichannel Shopper's Journey,” a new survey of over 700 adult U.S. consumers from digital recipe network Chicory, nearly half (47%) of the survey's respondents report that they have shopped both in-person and online for groceries in the past 60 days. The remainder of respondents reported shopping in-person only (42%) or online-only (11%) in the past 60 days, bringing the total number of digitally active grocery shoppers to almost 60%.

The survey reveals that in general, brand and store loyalty matter more to online shoppers. Respondents who are online-only shoppers are 3.5 times more likely to be loyal to brands, with 93% having specific brands in mind when creating their shopping list. Online-only shoppers are also 14.7 times more likely to be loyal to the same grocery store.

According to respondents, the number one driver of brand swaps is price (52%). When shoppers are considering a repeat purchase, price is the top consideration again (32%), followed by taste (21%) and nutritional health (13%).

A significant portion of digital meal planning and shopping occurs off-platform, before shoppers go to their preferred retailer. Four in 10 (41%) respondents said they plan their meals both offline and online, while 22% said they plan exclusively online, bringing the total number of what Chicory calls “digital-savvy” meal planners to 63%.

Of shoppers who had not visited the retailer's website or app in the last 60 days, the majority (57%) still did their meal planning online, but not on the retailer's platforms.

An April 2021 consumer survey from Chicory reinforces the company’s latest findings that grocery shopping is frequently an omnichannel experience on the customer side. Looking at discovery trends, the April Chicory survey found that over half (56%) of respondents discover new grocery products online directly through a retailer's e-commerce site.

In addition, the earlier study showed that about three in 10 (31%) respondents find new products on digital recipe sites, while 27% use digital circular and coupon services and websites to find new products and 21% find new products through digital ads. Various social media channels, including Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram (excluding TikTok, 11%) are nearly even in the percentage of respondents using them for grocery product discovery, with an average of 20%.

"The omnichannel experience offers brands and retailers countless consumer touchpoints, leaving them wondering where to focus their efforts," said Chicory co-founder and CEO Yuni Sameshima. "According to our latest survey, the answer is clear. Online shoppers are more loyal than in-store shoppers, making it a priority for brands and retailers to reach digital shoppers where they know they'll be, like meal planning on a recipe site. This type of off-platform targeting will help reach new buyers and increase customer lifetime value."

Chicory surveyed 726 total American consumers, ages 18 to 60-plus years old, from October 6-7, 2021, using an online survey.

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