Chain Store Age: Exclusive Q&A: Kroger sees hybrid shopping growing beyond COVID-19
Hybrid shopping across physical and digital channels will continue growing in the post-pandemic “new normal.”
Chain Store Age recently spoke with Barbara Connors, VP of commercial insights at 84.51°, the data analytics subsidiary of Kroger, about the ongoing evolution of hybrid shoppers who merge their physical and digital retail activities.
Connors provided an update to commentary provided by Michael McGowan, senior VP of commercial insights and loyalty for 84.51°, offered in September 2021 about the emergence of hybrid shoppers as a major consumer segment during the peak period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
[Read more: Exclusive Q&A: Kroger sees ‘hybrid shoppers’ as the future of e-commerce]
What factors are driving continued hybrid shopping usage post-peak COVID-19? COVID-19 was the catalyst for an acceleration of e-commerce adoption. Hybrid shopping, the use of both e-commerce and in-store modes to fulfill different grocery trips, is still occurring at a rate two times higher than pre-pandemic, having maintained popularity even as we have progressed beyond the peak of the pandemic. This is because the increase in options has provided shoppers with the ability to choose which method is preferred for any given shopping trip.
In-store is still the preferred choice for fulfilling the main grocery trip, special trips and when shoppers need to pick up a few items ASAP. Hybrid shoppers also prefer to go in-store when they want to browse. This is critical when shopping for special occasions, but it is also a driving factor when shoppers want to discover new items or look for promotions.
However, hybrid shoppers now lean on e-commerce to save time, save money and streamline their shopping experience. In fact, many shoppers even use this method to help stick to a budget and avoid adding items beyond their list.