Grocery Shoppers Favor Omnichannel Purchasing Journeys

man grocery shopping

Pure-play eCommerce may be slow to catch on in grocery, but PYMNTS Intelligence research shows omnichannel engagement has caught on in that realm.

By the Numbers

Supplemental research from a survey of nearly 2,500 U.S. consumers the PYMNTS Intelligence ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report broke down which channels consumers use for various types of purchases. The results revealed that most grocery shoppers, by a considerable margin, prefer to make purchases across digital and physical channels.

Specifically, as of April 2023, 52% of grocery shoppers made such purchases both online and in person, while just 43% did so in person only and less than 6% did so purely via digital channels.

The Data in Context

This trend is good news for grocers, who see omnichannel engagement drive spending. Kroger, for instance, touted on its earnings call Thursday (June 20) that its digitally engaged households spend three times as much as their non-digital counterparts.

Indeed, retailers are looking to get a clearer picture of these consumers. The PYMNTS Intelligence study “Big Retail’s Innovation Mandate: Convenience And Personalization,” created in collaboration with ACI Worldwide, found that 50% of U.S. and U.K. grocers are innovating on the ability to track customer purchase history across all channels.

Retail giants Amazon and Walmart, meanwhile, have been integrating digital technologies into their physical stores. Plus, around the world, retailers have been adding smart carts by the thousands.

“We made an early bet that smart carts would be the winning technology for transforming the in-store grocery experience because it’s a form factor people recognize and it doesn’t require retrofitting a whole store with large capex investments,” Instacart CEO Fidji Simo noted in a letter shared with investors alongside the grocer’s last earnings report. “Our Caper Carts do so much more than allow people to skip checkout. The digital screen makes shopping more personalized and delightful.”

chart, grocery purchase channels