How Grocers can Use Omnichannel Shopping to Improve Customer Loyalty

Grocery shopping is no longer just an in-store experience. According to the Coresight Research U.S. Online Grocery Survey of 2020, online grocery sales grew 40 percent in 2020 and 19 percent in 2019. The survey found that of 1,152 consumers polled, 52 percent had bought groceries online in the past 12 months; this was the first time that more than half of respondents had done so and is more than twice the number of shoppers from just two years ago.

Whether the customer shops in store, uses an app like Instacart to have groceries delivered to their doorstep, uses the retailer’s app with curbside pick-up, or shops in the physical grocery store, omnichannel options provide customers with a seamless experience and have helped increase customer loyalty and expand revenue channels for grocers nationwide.

However, omnichannel shopping can pose new challenges for retailers, who have to analyze data from multiple channels to manage inventory while ensuring that shoppers always find the right product to meet their needs. In this blog post, we take a look at how omnichannel shopping can improve customer loyalty—and how retailers can prepare for, and better manage, omnichannel shopping through a data management process called SKU rationalization.

How Omnichannel Shopping Improves Customer Loyalty

Below are just a few ways that omnichannel shopping enhances customer loyalty.

Omnichannel Shopping Meets the Modern Customer’s Need

Whether your grocery store wants to partner with a mobile app like Instacart to introduce a digital channel to your customers, or utilize your store app to provide home delivery or curbside pick-up, the demand from today’s customers is undeniable. The COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted online shopping from a convenient option to a need for many, and has exposed the vulnerabilities of businesses hesitant to diversify their grocery shopping channels. 

According to Statista, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, app downloads increased by 218 percent for Instacart, 160 percent for Walmart Grocery, and 124 percent for Shipt. Grocery stores already partnering with Instacart or providing their own delivery service were more equipped to retain their customers. At the same time, those that only offered in-person options were at risk of losing customers due to increased safety concerns and measures.

Omnichannel Shopping Creates a Consistent Customer Experience

Customers who tend to purchase the same items every week can save a lot of time by ordering through a grocery store app. Many grocery store apps allow the customer to save their grocery lists and preferred substitutes so they can simply tap a button to reorder effortlessly. Several apps also suggest additional related products that customers might like based on their cart preferences, which simplifies the shopping experience for customers and increases revenue for grocery stores.

Omnichannel shopping enables you to provide a superior digital experience for your customers and helps you organize and structure your inventory—both online and in stores. With SKU rationalization, you can stabilize and diversify your inventory to create the best outcome for your business. An omnichannel approach provides multiple data streams, which helps you further simplify your inventory processes and consistently meet customer demands. 

Omnichannel Shopping Creates a Better In-Store Experience

More than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic, most shoppers prefer a less-crowded grocery store for a smoother shopping experience, shorter lines, and less crowded aisles. 

However, it’s not just the pandemic driving the need for omnichannel shopping. Due to typical work schedules, most Americans must find time to grocery shop after the workday or on the weekend. That means shoppers are forced to navigate long lines and crowded stores after a long workday—creating a more frustrating, overwhelming store experience for shoppers and store employees alike.

An omnichannel approach provides your tech-savvy customers with an option to take their grocery shopping online, reducing overall foot traffic in stores. By offering omnichannel shopping, in-store shoppers can experience shorter waits in the checkout line, less crowded stores, and a better sales experience overall.

Confidently Navigate Omnichannel Shopping via SKU Rationalization

SKU rationalization enables you to weigh the costs of producing and stocking each item against the benefits of selling it. As a core category management process, you can use SKU rationalization to decide which items to retain, increase, reduce, or eliminate from your inventory based on historical sales data or demand. SKU rationalization helps minimize your risk with omnichannel shopping and feel more confident in unifying several shopping channels.

To learn more about how to use SKU rationalization, download the following e-book, which brings together insight from Date Check Pro and Itasca Retail. In this e-book, you learn:

  • Why the right category assortment is important for stores and their customers.
  • How to avoid the factors that lead to having too much inventory. 
  • The essential data needed to guide SKU rationalization decisions. 
  • The solutions that will enable retailers to get the job done right.

Download the SKU Rationalization eBook