Shopping for Groceries Online Is the New Normal?

I am one of those weirdos that actually doesn’t mind shopping for groceries… in a store.

Am I becoming a ‘relic’? A rare sighting in these modern times?
In a world where U.S. consumers who purchased groceries online has jumped from less than a quarter to well over a third in the past year, I feel like I am slowly becoming the minority. Or am I?

The numbers vary depending on what source you stumble upon but, be that as it may—online grocery shopping is on the rise.

You Never Knew You Needed It Until You Found It!

I still see the grocery store as somewhat of an adventure—like Dora and her baby jaguar, but I leave my Jaguar (cat) at home! Sure, I am there with a purpose. I’m on the hunt for the good ol’ staple items as well as the necessities. However, as I wander through the store on auto-pilot, feverishly crossing things off of my checklist, I sometimes come across new items in the aisles. And perhaps, they call to me… and I take the bait like a champ! I see it as a victory when a product grabs my attention with its clever packaging and enticing imagery …and I can actually grab back!

I want to pick it up, hold it in my hands (and yes, even sometimes squeeze it)!


With the advent of at-home grocery delivery services such as Shipt, are the brick-and-mortars slowly losing their luster in the eyes of the consumer? Has that ‘Shipt’ indeed, sailed?

I will admit, the concept of the simple ‘shop-click-ship’ method does have a certain appeal to it. The idea of sitting in my pj’s and ‘shopping’ for groceries online while my favorite TV program is playing in the background, and my feet are firmly planted in a pair of fuzzy bunny slippers is tempting. The alternative will have you leaving the comfort of your cozy home and foregoing the bunny slippers (unless you want to look like a crazy person). And the process of actually getting the food from the store to my house seems daunting when you think of the journey your items have to take before they even make it there:

  1. Pick food up off shelf
  2. Put food in cart
  3. Take food out of cart
  4. Put food on checkout belt
  5. Scan food
  6. Pick food up off belt
  7. Put food into bag
  8. Put bag into cart
  9. Take bag out of cart
  10. Put bag into car
  11. Take bag out of car
  12. Put food in house
  13. Take food out of bag
  14. Put food in the fridge… finally

Whew! After thinking about that, who wouldn’t want to shop online?

Seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, one study actually found that many shoppers find online food shopping more difficult than walking around a shop and putting things in a cart. Really? Maybe I’m not such a weirdo after all.

Last year, some 23.4% of all consumers who shopped for food tried an online service—I was not one of them. Maybe someday, say, if my knees give out or the adventure ceases to excite me. But for now, I will keep on with my bi-weekly adventures to the local supermarket (minus the ‘Jaguar’)!


Getting ‘Found’ Online Could Prove to Be Difficult Without the Right Marketing Efforts

According to a OneSpace article, “Consumer mindsets and behaviors are different online than they are in stores. In grocery stores, consumers are prone to browsing all the brands and offers available to them. Even a quick glance down an aisle gives a brand a chance to capture a consumer’s attention.” This is what happens to me (remember me grabbing and squeezing above)!

Things such as packaging design, messaging, point-of-sale material, and in-store promotions are crucial. It is these things that make what I do—my job as an Art Director—critical. These are the tools with which brands can generate loyalty, break habitual behavior and encourage brand switching.

It is a different world online. Savvy online shoppers are not typically ‘browsers’. A majority of them find the mindless scrolling rather uninspired—who has time for that? The online shopping experience is supposed to be effortless. That’s the beauty of it.


If you have any questions or would like to learn more about this topic, please reach out to the NewPoint team. If you are interested in more food marketing topics, please visit our “Intel” page or check out NewPoint’s book: Moving Your Brand Up the Food Chain.