05 January 2021
Consumers spending more on essential groceries during lockdown
GROCER have won over more consumers, spending £12bn on food and drink following recent lockdown restrictions, according to market research firm Kantar.
All supermarkets and discounters experienced an increase in sales during 2020 owing to a boom in online orders and a wave of panic buying. Online shopping now accounts for 11.5% of all grocery sales, gaining more ground and attracting more shoppers in 2020 than in the previous five years.
Yet, these gains could evaporate quickly this year, unless grocers refresh their strategies to create lasting customer loyalty, according to expert Toby Bland.
Toby, Senior Vice President at Teleperformance said: “While the gains made by supermarkets are unlikely to be sustained once a vaccine is readily available and diners return to restaurants, COVID-19 has certainly accelerated the shift to online and changed consumer behaviour forever. Supermarket brands have attracted a new set of customers, in particular older demographics, and we can expect many of them to continue enjoying the benefits of online services in the new normal.
"As more consumers move online to purchase food and drink, however, grocers must be agile in responding to their needs and remove friction from the digital purchasing experience to ensure customers can access what they want, when they want it. Over 27% of UK retailers are not communicating with the customer from the time they say ‘thank you for your order’ to the delivery itself. That’s no longer acceptable. Customers want to know where their delivery is so they can plan their day. The trick is to allow customers to move seamlessly through the end-to-end journey and make it unlikely that they’ll ever want to switch brands.
"As we enter a new year, grocers will need to reflect on their strategy and recalibrate to break the transactional mould they have traditionally relied on and keep in step with what consumers expect in a new digital era. Previously underutilized touchpoints such as omnichannel experiences, click and collect services and automation have accelerated over the last year, showing it is possible to adapt. This year, these options and agility will prove to be critical staples.”
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