How To Ensure a Successful Grocery Delivery and In-Store Pick-Up Program
As technology makes more industries easily accessible online, brands in these spaces need to continually find new ways to reach customers within these evolving digital channels. One industry that is being drastically impacted by online accessibility is grocery. Typically thought of as exclusively a brick-and-mortar industry, novel technologies have penetrated supermarkets to the point where most brands are making significant changes to their Customer Experience programs. Specifically, grocery brands across the country are transitioning to provide online ordering in tandem with in-store pickup or delivery services. While this is undoubtedly providing a better value to customers, if not executed properly it can wind up negatively impacting the experience provided by, and reputation of, your organization.
The digital grocery customer journey typically takes two forms after the order is placed online, in-store pickup or delivery, usually completed by a third-party brand. In a recent benchmark study, 66% of grocery brands offered pickup as the only options, 2% offered only delivery, and 32% offered both options. When consumers had the choice of either, they selected delivery 74% of the time. Most brands already have partners in place to complete these delivery requests, and established training programs to make sure that employees are executing in-store pickup requests effectively. As these programs become more commonplace, brands need to consistently measure performance and uncover data about how they could add a value to customers that stands out or at least is on par with the typical systems that are already being used in the industry.
Initially, online grocery transactions seemed like a novelty gimmick, that would never catch on for the mainstream public. For a large percentage of the population, specifically choosing the produce or going to the deli counter to point and choose meats was an important part of ensuring the quality of the food being purchased. However, as digital channels become more ingrained in our society, consumers now are much more confident when ordering products online. The average size of each individual online grocery transaction is $148, meaning that it is not only used as a supplement to traditional shopping but is in fact now a main avenue used by customers to purchase groceries. Additionally, the average number of online transactions per grocery store brand has increased 1/5th compared to the previous year. This level of growth shows that this trend has moved past the novelty phase and is cementing itself as a normal expectation for grocery consumers. If your brand does not have online ordering in place, then it is most likely losing customers to those organizations that are able to provide this service.
However, even if your organization was an early adopter for this advanced ordering and delivery technology, how do you know if it is contributing to a positive reputation for your brand? Simply having the service available is no longer enough, it needs to be executed effectively so that the intended reduction of customer effort is actually happening within each individual interaction. The best way to capture this data is to implement Customer Experience measurement programs like mystery shopping as way to ensure that each aspect of this program is operating up to organizational expectations. These measurement programs can help maintain the ideal experience of your brand, especially if there is a third-party that is completing the delivery phase of the customer journey. The main goal of these research programs is to optimize each individual aspect of every single interaction so that customers are receiving maximized value at each touchpoint. One specific way that these programs can help to ensure the performance of in-store grocery pickup and delivery is uncovering information that allows employees to close the loop on negative feedback. If your online grocery program is leaving a bad taste in customers’ mouths, reach out to those with a negative review. Simply reaching out and listening to their concerns will not only improve your next interaction with a different consumer, but it can also help convert the individual with a complaint into an ambassador themselves.
Customer expectations in the grocery industry are changing rapidly, and if your organization is not meeting this changing status quo, it could result in a slew of lost opportunities. Instead, implement these online ordering programs and then measure their effectiveness to ensure a successful delivery and in-store pickup program for your grocery organization.
Second To None empowers customer-centric brands to deliver consistent, intentional and authentic consumer experiences.
We adeptly design and manage mystery shopping, compliance, engagement and voice of customer solutions grounded in strategic relevance, program integrity and actionable insights. Our solutions are developed on the basis of solid research and statistical science. We achieve success through a relentless focus on quality and innovation, consultative relationships and a talented team of professional associates.