Retailers, it's time to innovate!

12 may 2022

Louise Taylor

The Covid-19 pandemic has fast-forwarded the growth of the online grocery industry. But it hasn't eliminated the pain points that previously restricted growth. Could removing those pain points turn pandemic-driven online grocery shoppers into customers who buy their food online by choice?

The meteoric rise of online food shopping

Insider Intelligence's report into the online grocery industry projects that online grocery adoption will reach 55-66% of US consumers by the end of 2024. But will those customers continue to shop online after the pandemic?

Not necessarily. Analysis from the UK on digital shopper behaviour shows that 32.8% of people plan to continue shopping for food online post-pandemic, but less frequently. 18% of shoppers plan to stop buying food online entirely.

The pain points of online grocery shopping

Northfork has long advocated for the removal of pain points in the online grocery shopping experience. That's why the company works with retailers and publishers to help their customers discover new recipes and shop smarter. Yet other pain points still exist, particularly in relation to dates.

"Little puts customers off online grocery shopping as quickly as short dates," comments Jez Collins, VP of Sales at Northfork. "It's a major pain point for many of the customers we've spoken to but also a quick win for retailers who act now."

The frustrations vary. A weekly shop where all meals have to be consumed within two days. Fresh fish delivered at 10.30 pm on the day it has to be used by. A loaf of bread destined for lunchboxes but with only a day's freshness left. All result in disrupted plans and, usually, wasted food.

"What we need is for all retailers to make the ability to specify certain dates a core part of the online shopping experience," concludes Northfork's Jez Collins. "That's the point at which both customers and retailers will win."