While many consumers used ecommerce before 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has made online shopping pervasive. In the middle of this retail revolution, grocery retailers are trying to keep up with the increasing amount of websites and apps that offer online grocery shopping and delivery services. Consumers often favor these ecommerce solutions because they allow them to buy necessities from the safety and comfort of their homes.
Given the mounting competition, grocery retailers must do more than get involved in ecommerce to experience success. Instead, they need an effective product data management plan to stand out in the online grocery retail industry. Here, Virtucom Group takes a closer look.
The Growth of Online Grocery Shopping
There’s no question that online grocery retail is a fast-growing industry. According to Statista, revenue from the food and beverage ecommerce industry reached $34.2 billion in 2021, representing an $8.2 billion increase from 2020. At this rate, researchers estimate this amount will rise to $47.6 billion by 2025.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only compounded the desire for online grocery shopping options. Food Marketing Institute (FMI) found that the number of online grocery shoppers in the U.S. soared to 64% in 2021, with over one-fourth of consumers placing an order once a week. Additionally, 77% of Americans have changed the way they shop in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a significant emphasis on ecommerce platforms.
As online grocery shopping rises in popularity, more businesses flock to the food and beverage ecommerce industry. Amazon Prime Now, Instacart, Shipt, and other corporations that offer online pickup and delivery services make shopping easier for customers, driving up competition for grocery store chains.
Why Use Optimized Product Data?
Product attributes and specifications are essential for many different industries but are particularly helpful in online grocery retail. Consider some of the reasons why having robust and detailed product data can help grocery ecommerce solutions:
1. Effective Product Data Management Simulates the In-Store Experience
If grocery stores want to implement ecommerce platforms successfully, they need to reproduce the in-store shopping experience. This strategy helps customers transition to online shopping smoothly and provides them with the most information about products.
When shopping in a grocery store, customers often inspect product packaging to review nutrition facts and ingredients. Examining each item allows them to find the right choice based on their dietary needs or preferences. Online shopping prevents customers from looking at product packaging, but retailers can fix this issue by providing robust product attributes on their web listings.
These descriptions ensure customers feel confident putting items in their virtual carts, whether they are shopping on a mobile app or conventional webpage. Multiple large and high-quality product images also enhance the shopping experience because some customers remember items by colors and branding.
2. Thorough Product Attributes Enable Cross-Selling of Related Items
Many supermarkets organize products into groups for in-store displays to make shopping more convenient and encourage consumers to buy more. For example, they may place hot chocolate next to marshmallows and candy canes in the seasonal aisle during the holidays.
This marketing strategy can be challenging to accomplish on an ecommerce site, but an effective product data management system provides the ideal solution. Using comprehensive product features, a retailer can cross-sell ingredients in the same recipe and make it easier for customers to find desired items.
Arranging listings by recipe ingredients also enables grocery retailers to compete with popular meal kit providers. Researchers expect meal kit services to grow more than $13 billion in 2022, making it crucial for grocery stores to improve their cross-selling capabilities on ecommerce platforms.
3. Ingredient-Specific Product Descriptions Are Vital for Specialty Foods
Ingredient lists and thorough nutritional information is necessary for all products but especially are important for specialty food categories. Customers who follow strict diets or suffer from food allergies find it easier to shop online when they can find gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan options quickly.
Retailers can also employ product data management to group products into separate sections devoted to these markets. This system enables customers to pinpoint food and beverages they can eat even more intuitively, giving the retailer an advantage over competitors with less compelling product information on their app or website.
4. Ample Product Information Helps Retailers Excel among Local Competitors
Most consumers shop at the same grocery stores when they visit in person, but ecommerce platforms can open them up to additional shopping choices. Online delivery services like Instacart provide links to nearby stores to give customers several options, heightening competition in the local market. Optimized product data draws customers in when they order items online for home delivery, helping grocery retailers remain competitive against other supermarkets in the area.
Discover Ecommerce Solutions from Virtucom Group
If your retail grocery business has yet to break ground in ecommerce, consider choosing a product data management service that can boost your sales and enhance the customer experience. At Virtucom Group, we create original and engaging ecommerce content for numerous industries, including grocery retailers. Additionally, our item onboarding service can optimize your offerings with the product data and assets that your customers desire.