Target, Walmart, and Albertsons are the top ranked grocers for e-commerce, according to an Ipsos survey of 1,200 U.S. consumers released last week.
The unifying factor that set them apart from the competition was a strong emphasis on the basics, particularly accurate order fulfillment and intuitive ordering options.
Accuracy is the overall most important aspect of a great digital grocery experience, according to Silvana Daehn, VP at Ipsos' channel performance practice. It’s a strong driver of long-term loyalty, and all three top grocers scored well on this metric.
"When we asked consumers what the drivers are for making them use e-commerce again, the top thing that came out was order accuracy,” Daehn told CX Dive. “Get the basics right. Give me what I ordered, and if you don't have what I ordered, offer me a good substitution.”
Accuracy in curbside pickup
Getting the basics right is especially important for customers seeking curbside pickup, who demand accuracy in pickup times, according to Daehn. Grocers need to have the order ready at the specified time while letting the shopper know just where to pick it up.
Despite this, only 83% of curbside orders were actually ready on time during a series of test shopping experiences conducted as part of the study, according to Daehn.
"While 83% again sounds like a relatively high number, that's still 17% whose orders were not ready when it was stated that they would be ready,” she said. “That can be a little frustrating for those who are using e-commerce to be efficient.”
Grocers are improving in this area, even if there is still work to be done. Only 77% of curbside orders were ready in the previous iteration of the study, according to Daehn.
Companies looking to get curbside right can look to Albertsons for inspiration. More than 95% of respondents said they’re very satisfied with the grocer’s curbside program, and more than 3 in 5 said they were extremely likely to use its e-commerce services again.
Home delivery options need to have working contactless options, according to Daehn. Interest in social distancing is still elevated, and contactless delivery was only available 88% of the time, Daehn said.
Customers want easy ordering
Shoppers are also looking for intuitive ordering experiences, but delivering on this demand can be complicated, according to Daehn. A good digital platform requires a wide range of information, from product availability to available delivery windows, and makes it easy to add items, select substitutions and apply coupons.
Daehn noted that Walmart, Target and Albertsons all excel at helping customers find and apply discounts with minimum fuss, which contributed to their high rankings. They also all offer the ability to favorite items to make reordering quick and easy.
“People want to feel like they’re still getting a good deal while having the convenience of e-commerce,” Daehn said.
It’s important that these convenient features are available whether a customer chooses to use an app or a website. Shoppers all have their preferred channel and want to have their needs met without needing to switch, according to Daehn.