“Add to cart.” Those three transformational words are shaping multiple industries, with significant implications for all of us who touch retail, both as shoppers or as professionals.
People love to shop. People love to buy. More than anything, it seems that people love convenience. When these elements are paired together, a profitable marriage materializes. The notion of being able to buy merchandise online and conveniently pick it up in a physical store, or “Click and Collect” (C&C), is rapidly becoming a preferred option for shoppers.
According to an InfoScout survey and shopper purchase data, C&C is gaining strong momentum across retail. When it comes to grocery and household items, nearly two-thirds (63%) of C&C shoppers are making more online shopping trips today than they were one year ago.
Within grocery specifically, the heaviest users of C&C are middle-aged (35-44 years old). I can absolutely relate to this data, personally, and it’s no surprise shoppers are 1.5 times more likely to have children and households of more than three people. At the same time, nearly one in three (32%) C&C users are at least 55 years old, and turning to the option for other reasons.
Affluent shoppers appear to be earlier adopters, as 57% of the heaviest C&C users have a household income of more than $80,000. These shoppers are also buying products tailored to active and health-conscious lifestyles, and they are more likely to buy categories such as performance nutrition bars or sports drinks. Conversely, a smaller percentage of low-income shoppers (18%), among the heaviest C&C users, could indicate that minimum order totals are a barrier to entry. At least for now.
Despite not being enticed by display and impulse items in-store, as a new trip type, C&C shoppers are contributing noteworthy dollars to retail. C&C shoppers frequently load up and spend 2.6 times more per trip and fill their baskets with 2.4 times more items than they do when they shop at brick-and-mortar.
Of note, C&C purchases today represent a small percentage of grocery spend, except for the heaviest users. Also, C&C does appear to replace in-store trips, as there is a correlation between C&C trip increases and in-store traffic declines, per an InfoScout 12-month trip-type analysis.
According to InfoScout data, high velocity and immediate need departments such as dairy, produce, deli and frozen foods appear in more Walmart C&C baskets as usage increases over time and shoppers become more comfortable with the option. For example, basic items appear in more and more baskets (75% of regular C&C shopper baskets include dairy) and 40% of baskets include everyday household items, for shoppers using the service more than 12 times.
Conversely, certain categories may need to get creative to drive C&C sales, as trip reduction for indulgent and impulse items such as, alcoholic beverages and candy could present a challenge.
As noted earlier, convenience is king. The convenience of shopping online was the primary reason for using C&C within grocery, as 54% choose C&C over in-store shopping due to convenience, far ahead of speed/when I need it (15%), lowest prices (13%) and coupons/discounts (13%).
Grocery C&C users believe C&C does a better job with sales and promotions (31%) and hard-to-find items (26%) than brick-and-mortar stores (18% and 14%, respectively). However, users give physical stores an edge when it comes to discovering new items (27% in-store vs. 23% C&C).
The words “add to cart” are driving monumental changes. Regardless of your role within the retail landscape, there is much to be learned about this new type of trip and the growth implications. At a minimum, be sure to give C&C a try for yourself.
Editor’s note: Tom Hauge is a sales director with InfoScout in Bentonville. The opinions expressed are those of the author.