Unexpected and unanticipated – that’s how the grocery market has been in 2020. There has been a tremendous growth in the grocery business this year. However, online grocery trends 2021 would be different.
As per eMarketer, Online grocery sales in the US will grow by nearly 53% in 2020, reaching $89.22 billion in sales. That’s an increase of $30.86 billion from a year prior.
By 2023, online grocery sales will reach $129.72 billion and will account for nearly 10% of total grocery sales.
Sales of grocery delivery and pickup in the United States in August 2019 and March to November 2020
There are no signs of slowing down – credit goes to the pandemic and the customer’s willingness to experience comfort, safety, and convenience. This sudden shift in the grocery market tells us what to expect in the coming years.
As per Food Business News, “Online could make up 6.4% of total grocery sales by 2021.”
2021 Market Trends: What’s Ahead for Us?
‘Online grocery trends 2021’ – almost everyone is searching for this term now. Everyone is curious about what’s going to happen in the grocery world in 2021. So, here’s what to expect in the future of the grocery market.
Online Groceries is Trending – The trend of online grocery shopping is on the rise. This market has grown tremendously at such a faster pace, which has made it one of the hottest markets in the world right now. Nearly 80% of the customers are shopping groceries online, which means the COVID-19 has done its part for the grocery business. Besides, there is still a room for growth in the grocery market. Hence, online groceries is bound to grow in 2021, and ahead.
Grocery Shopper’s Behavior is Changing – That’s visible; grocery shopper’s behavior is changing. They are not sticking to just one grocery store. Consumer’s behavior is changing with time, especially during this year, the crisis changed us all, our needs, and even what groceries should be on our priority list. Customers are not even hesitating to rely on newbies in the grocery market; they just want quality services – comfy, secure, and convenient. The market is accepting everyone as of now, the need is to make your presence worth a notice.
Healthy Food Supply Will Augment – The world is after healthy food after the COVID-19 has hit. Everyone wants to hop on to healthy food, which means everyone is concerned about their immune system way more than ever before. Companies are, hence, focusing on delivering much healthier food, which is safe for the health, good for the gut, and something that tastes well too. Hence, keeping the demand of healthy food in mind, it is evident that grocery stores will now have to store more organic, natural, and healthy food to upkeep the demand of the customers.
Automation Enhances Shopping – The processes are being automated in the grocery businesses. For instance, The Amazon Go App, which has been one of those technologies that has simplified the grocery delivery process. It has initiated automation in the grocery industry, which has allowed customers to shop without the need to wait in the long lines for the checkout process. This technology has provided convenience, comfort, and speedy services to the customers. Hence, automation helps in reducing the time to deliver the groceries, besides ensuring that the customers are satisfied.
Grocery stores are also opting for technologies like self-service kiosks, which helps grocery stores in improving the shopping experience of the customers. In case, people go out and shop for groceries in the store, they are expecting technologies like self-service kiosks to ease the shopping experience of grocery purchasing. Such technologies even initiate customer loyalty, which is the ultimate objective of most of the businesses.
Why Automation in Grocery Business?
Grocery businesses are now considering automation, and that has even become one of the most vital strategies that will boost loyalty and performance. Automation in grocery business includes services like kiosks, sensor-based payment for orders, and exclusive subscriptions. Nowadays, businesses are investing in subscriptions for attracting customers and allowing them better offers. This is usually done to keep the customers for longer, turning them from potential customers to loyal ones for a better business.
According to a recently released TechSci Research report, “Online Grocery Market in India By Product Type, Consumer Behaviour, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 – 2021”, the online grocery market in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of 55% during 2016 – 2021.
2021 market trends in the grocery industry are hinting us that this market is amongst one of the most profitable markets in 2020, and this trend is going to prevail even in 2021, and even after.
As per WARC,
- The take-home grocery market is growing at 12% year on year (as of September 2020);
- Shopping trip frequency has seen a 10% drop; and
- There’s been a 24% increase in the amount spent per trip.
COVID-19’s Impact will be Seen in the Grocery Industry
This pandemic phase has augmented the demand of online grocery business. Online grocery trends 2021 will surely be affected by this pandemic, and that’s obvious. The coming year is about offering customers the comfort, convenience, and safety – and if your grocery business is able to deliver that, you can probably think of running a successful grocery delivery business.
‘Online grocery trends 2021’ is probably going to be the most searched term recently. And, it is not just about the developed countries, even the developing countries are going through the same scenario. Online grocery shopping business is on the rise, and this trend is being followed by the world.
There is no sign that the COVID-19 situation is going away so soon. Hence, strategies need to be built around how grocery business will survive during this pandemic.
So, in case you were thinking about starting your own grocery stores, this is probably the right time to do so.
What are the major grocery market trends predicted for 2021?
- 2020 was so unpredictable for every business, including the grocery business as well. The behavior of grocery shoppers has changed and even their habits. Earlier, shoppers used to stick to a particular grocery store for shopping groceries, however, the behavior of shoppers have changed now. Today, customers are willing to buy groceries from almost anyone, even the newbie in the business. Hence, the market trends have changed and so does the habits of grocery shoppers. One can predict the grocery market to be more flexible in 2021. Social distancing, transparency in business, and even contactless deliveries are expected to be followed by grocery stores in 2021.
How has COVID-19 changed the customer’s preferences?
- People are limiting their visit to the grocery stores, or many of them are not choosing to visit the stores themselves. Almost everyone is relying on the on-demand grocery delivery app to place their orders. The market of grocery delivery is even expected to double by 2025, as per the experts. Grocery sellers are trying now to develop a connection between online shopping and in-stores, initiating customizations in the grocery delivery experiences, and safe grocery deliveries at home.
Disruption breeds innovation. Technological advances have made their impact on the grocery sector as well. There has been a paradigm shift from “Brick and Mortar” to “Click and Mortar”. People have started using smartphones to order practically everything. Given grocery falls under the perishable items bucket, people have to order groceries almost every week.
Almost 45% of smartphone users tend to buy groceries online on supermarket mobile app. Ten years back could anyone imagine that something as simple as grocery shopping can become so advanced? Did you ever think that you could use your smartphone to order eggs and veggies?
Related Post: 6 ULTIMATE ONLINE GROCERY TRENDS TO WATCH OUT NOW
Online Grocery Trends 2021 – Let’s walk you through a few of them:
Trend 1 – Supply Chain Technology
Now, some of you might be wondering what is supply chain and what it has to do with online grocery trends 2021? It’s an Eco space of people, organizations, cities, information that are involved in moving a product/service from supplier to customer.
To create sync between supply and demand there has to be precision in what orders are coming through vs what is there in the storage. Quality has to be optimum as social media can be a deal-breaker in this case. A small insect found in any of the grocery items delivered and get ready to be badly scrutinized on social media. Photos of any defect can go viral and wipe the business out in seconds due to a tarnished image. To improve efficiencies of stock delivery it’s important that there are live data feeds.
To offer consumers an Omni-channel experience in grocery shopping, consumers might be able to see and feel the product through interactive screens. Also, to manage the warehouse there have to be grocery packing robots.
Trend 2 – Formation of Mixed Spaces
As you all know it’s very difficult to keep the millennials glued to one place. To drag them to buy groceries there has to be another incentive as well. For that welcome the concept of mixed space grocery stores. Now, what does this exactly mean? It means that the grocery stores are not standalone brick and mortar stores.
There is a complex, two to three-story building with a grocery store on the ground floor, basement parking and restaurants and bars on the top floor. There can be other food vendors, Xerox/ printout facility so that people drive there once and they can address multiple needs and requirements at one time.
People are looking for convenience, getting multiple things at one place will be a lifesaver for them. They can eat, get the grooming done, get their groceries sorted all in one place.
Trend 3 – Out of the box delivery options
Given the cut-throat competition in the online grocery trends in 2021, competitors are differentiating themselves through innovative delivery options. There have been interesting trends like direct to fridge online grocery delivery. This one is very interesting. Once the delivery boy reaches your doorstep you receive a notification on the grocery app. He can then enter the house and put the groceries straight into the fridge. All this takes place under sharp vigilance of the user using home surveillance cameras. There is no threat of delivery boy taking/stealing anything.
Another innovative delivery option is by increasing the warehouses in prime locations. Amazon does that. It has started its prime now one hour and two-hour grocery delivery services across the country by opening its warehouses in some of the key locations.
Trend 4 – Voice Ordering
Voice recognition is gaining a lot of traction in the market. We are living in a world of Alexa and Siri. People don’t even feel like typing anything now. Just let the assistant so all the work. According to research half of the searches in 2020 will be done using voice. Some examples include Ask Peapod, Walmart’s Voice Order and Alexa. It creates a more natural environment for shopping and also leads to more customer loyalty.
Due to the frequency of grocery shopping and the urge for convenience, this area is going to make it big. The only drawback over here is shoppers don’t get visual confirmation of their purchase. So, in the future, an amalgamation of voice and visual will be a more winsome combo. This shift to conversational commerce will be a bit challenging though. People have to become more comfortable in interacting with their devices while making any purchases from Amazon Pantry.
Trend 5 – Subscription Shopping
This one is a new kid on the block, we mean a new online grocery trend of 2021. It means arranging to have the products delivered to your home following a prearranged schedule. This practice is gaining traction more for individual products rather than a couple of products together. Some companies that are already using it are Proctor and Gamble that sells razors on-demand via Gillette on Demand. We can expect more subscription buying in the future as shoppers want to simplify their recurring purchases.
Trend 6 – Blockchain Innovations in The Food Supply Chain
There has been a rise in consumer awareness especially about what they are eating. How healthy is it? What are the carbs and proteins in what they are consuming? Now, this translates into an ask for more information about the products than what was given historically by the retailers. There can be questions on food quality, where is it sourced from? This reassures the platform to the customers by making them understand where does their food come from?
Imagine you order an orange. You get the details of where it was picked, processed, shipped, inspected, how old is it and at what temperature was it kept to make it conducive to eating and so on. Customers can now get all info from planting to warehouse delivery. We can answer all queries that are there in a customer’s mind that refrain them from buying a product from our platform.
Big data will be of major help here. You can scan a barcode and you are ready to answer all queries that a customer has related to a particular item.
Enhancing the Pantry
Kitchen routines, pantry, eating habits, ordering behavior of customers have changed now. Crowds are indulging in cooking for themselves; trying different recipes, which they barely did before. Also, rather than relying on elaborate cooking, people are relying on what’s in their pantry or fridge. Hence, groceries need to keep more such items in their list, which are easily cooked and can last for days. Also, people are buying more spices and condiments, which is to enhance the flavors of their food. The demand for these flavorful spices has increased, as people are trying to make their recipes tastier while experimenting with it.
2021 is going to be spicier and flavorful, it seems. People are finding easiest ways to spice up their meals – and the easy way. Different grocery companies are seeing this trend, where consumers are ordering spice and such flavorful stuff to make their food tastier and spicier. People want texture in their meals, and which has enhanced the demand of such grocery items. Hence, this is going to be amongst the top online grocery trends in 2021.
Patrons are being selective now about their shopping now. They wish to have more purposeful shopping now. Earlier, people were shopping with no purpose, today, after COVID-19, the world has shifted to more meaningful shopping – they shop with a purpose now. Crowds will be more selective now about the online grocery stores and even what they shop. The stores are being selective about what they sell, and customers are being selective about what they buy. Hence, the online grocery shopping has become more purposeful now. 2021 is about more purposeful grocery shopping now.
Shopping on the Clock
Sunday shopping was the trend earlier – now online grocery stores are focusing on weekdays too. The working hours are flexible, people are still locked inside their homes, and the shopping behavior has changed. Hence, customers are not just focusing on Sunday or weekend shopping, but weekdays too. This shift in shopping timings have highly affected the online grocery business. Grocery business has been affected and we just need to see whether that’s for good or not. The online grocery trends 2021 is bound to be affected by the COVID-19, and we are crossing our fingers for this trend to be good enough for us.
The Takeaway Message
Online grocery trends in 2021 would probably be more ‘customer-service’ centric. Technology amalgamated with online grocery has resulted in more sophisticated online grocery services. Now that we have given you these online grocery trends that will rule 2021, what are you waiting for? Contact GrocersApp and get your Grocery Mobile App built as per your needs.
GrocersApp brings food, technology & convenience at a common pedestal by helping a business get your mobile application. We bridge the gap between the grocery store & their customers. If you have any queries, write to us at email@example.com.