Best Practices for Grocery Digital Marketing

In this 3 part series, we will explore how brand leaders can transform their digital content into a helpful & clear path to cart.

The State of the Union in Online Grocery is…dynamic. The retailer arms race continues, more consumers than ever are testing the waters, and digital aisles continue to expand both in geographic coverage and breadth of pantry (we will delve deeper into these topics in the future). This rapid evolution shows no signs of slowing up, and every week brings change. This series will focus on how brand content leaders can take advantage of and surf this wave of digital grocery growth and evolution. Making your content shoppable online is a key way to add horsepower to existing digital media and directly translate it into online grocery sales. As the industry wades further into this space, we want to highlight 5 key Add to Cart best practices:

  1. Every impression should have a path to cart
  2. It needs to feel like help to the consumer
  3. Own the Digital Shelf 
  4. Every store is different, your shelf needs to be too
  5. Listen & learn from the data

 #1: Every impression should have a path to cart.   Making digital ads shoppable can dramatically compress the life cycle between brand awareness and purchase; they create an immediate and efficient path to cart during that brief aperture.  Add to cart on any piece of media, on any device, at any time is not just a huge window of influence, but it allows you to meet your consumers where they are. It’s an innovative tool to break down online vs brick & mortar differences.  

According to consumer research completed by GlobalData, over 50% of grocery shoppers actively consider new or alternative brands while shopping in-store today, but that drops to 23% in online grocery due to the lack of physical brand exposure.  What works in brick and mortar will not automatically work on a mobile phone or electronic device. But the physical discovery and impulse advantages that are natural in store can be re-imagined online: creative media paired with a smooth path to cart re-builds that discovery and impulse opportunity.  Impressions may win the battle, but alone they won’t win the war.

#2: It needs to feel like help to the consumer.  An impression is just that, a brief moment of brand awareness and hopefully engagement.  Shoppable content brings utility to the consumer and to that impression. Slapping a ‘buy now’ button and a deep link to a product page is better than no button, but it is not good enough today.  The consumer experience from impression to cart can’t be the 100m hurdles, it has to be a moving sidewalk. A high emphasis should be put on removing as much friction as possible. Help them save time and money: make it stupidly easy to see where you can locally purchase, if it’s on sale, and allow them to commit then and there.  Bring them helpful inspiration that doesn’t feel like a sale —a full surround organic Thanksgiving meal, a unique and exotic smoothie recipe, or even a 5 year old’s birthday party complete with cake, food, napkins and decorations–all available in your cart immediately or conceivably at your doorstep within hours with a single click.  Help them. 88% of online shoppers indicate they won’t return to a website after having a poor user experience. Don’t under-estimate the importance of a brutally simple and smooth user experience paired with helpful content.

Part 2 of this 3 part series will be available next week.  For other Online Grocery-related Industry perspective, check out our archive or subscribe below.