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Omnichannel strategies to engage holiday hybrid shoppers

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As shoppers begin making their purchases for holiday meals this year, the ecommerce footprint is steadily growing, complementing traditional grocery trips as customers seek convenience amid packed seasonal schedules. At 84.51°, our research into key holiday grocery trends shows brick-and-mortar stores still dominate holiday shopping. Ecommerce, however, provides added convenience and flexibility by allowing shoppers to choose the days and times they shop. Grocery shoppers are increasingly taking an omnichannel approach, moving fluidly between online and in-store as they tackle holiday prep. As inflation continues to affect their budgets, shoppers are also looking for ways to save money this holiday season. Here’s what this means for CPG brands heading into the holiday season.


Our research shows that while in-store holiday shopping remains dominant, shoppers are increasingly looking to ecommerce to complement their traditional holiday shopping trips. Shoppers indicate that they intend to purchase appetizers, beverages, fresh produce, and cooking accessories both in-store and online more frequently than they did last year.

Holiday WP Chart 01

Online pickup continues to rise among holiday shoppers

Another emerging ecommerce trend to note is the rise of buy-online-for-pickup orders. This option enables customers to order groceries or other items online for convenient curbside or in-store pickup. Our research indicates online pickup gained significant traction during the pandemic but is still growing in popularity. When asked how their grocery shopping behaviors have changed since last year, more than half (51%) of shoppers said they shop more online for pickup.

Online pickup enables customers to skip lines and avoid crowds by shopping online and coordinating pickup when it suits their schedule. For the holidays, online pickup provides a low-friction way to check items off grocery lists while avoiding delivery fees and wait times.

Furthermore, an analysis of discount sales among online pickup shoppers in 2022 showed shoppers found the largest discounts in November.

In 2022, online pickup shoppers found the largest discounts in November

Source: 84.51° Stratum, percent discount sales among online pickup shoppers for 2022, broken down by month

What contributed to the surge in discounts? As the holiday season ramps up, many shoppers are likely turning to online ordering to conveniently purchase ingredients for holiday meals and parties without having to navigate crowded stores (plus avoid shipping fees). Other ideas for meeting the needs of hybrid holiday shoppers include:

Convenience is king

The digital conveniences holiday shoppers crave and discounts that ease budget strain make an appealing ecommerce combo. Recommending coordinated items and attaching coupons simplifies meal planning. Bundling ingredients for holiday recipes is another way to add convenience for shoppers.

Defined shopping patterns

Our research into back-to-school shopping patterns, a shopping season that is second only to the winter holidays, shows that online shoppers tend to focus on checking items off their list, while in-store shoppers have a broader list and are more likely to make impulse buys. Expect similar behavior from holiday shoppers.

How brands can respond to the holiday hybrid shopper

Brands that understand the preferences and expectations of ecommerce shoppers will be able to optimize the shopping experience to better engage holiday shoppers – so they know, recognize and appreciate your brand no matter how they shop.

To leverage the continuing growth of online pickup, consider implementing creative ways to enhance the pickup experience for holiday shoppers. For example, brands can collaborate with retailers to include personalized recommendations or product ideas/tips when customers arrive to collect their orders, to create a positive brand image during the bustling holiday season.

To meet shoppers at every channel with relevant, engaging offers, brands must continue to keep a finger on the pulse of hybrid shopping behaviors. The brands that do so and continue to innovate will be positioned to build stronger relationships with customers during the holiday season and beyond.

Get more holiday insights to inform your ecommerce strategy

As seasonal shopping trends continue to evolve, brands must understand shopper priorities and preferences to make informed decisions when planning their holiday campaigns. To learn more about the grocery trends that will be affecting your business this year, read our latest white paper, From tradition to transformation: Examining holiday shopping trends and evolving customer habits.

Download the white paper

If you’d like to learn more about the shopper behaviors driving today’s ecommerce grocery trends and how to leverage them, here are some additional pieces that might interest you:

Path to purchase insights revealed: With more ways than ever to decide how and when to make a purchase, shopper behavior can be difficult to predict. 84.51° consumer research highlights the key decision points that are determining what makes it into shoppers’ baskets and when.

How omnichannel shoppers are responding to disruption: A growing number of shoppers have added online shopping into their regular grocery shopping routines. An informed omnichannel approach can help address their needs no matter how and where they choose to shop.

The digitalization of grocery stores, a game changer for CPGs: Learn six ways in which grocery stores are becoming digitalized and the implications for CPG brands.

Omnichannel experiences, the key to shopper success: Customers expect an integrated, frictionless path that enables them to shop when, where and however they please. 84.51° Senior Vice President of Data Science Kristin Foster explains how to develop a robust strategy that creates a meaningful omnichannel experience.

We’re leading a data revolution in the retail business, and we’re looking for partners who are ready for a deeper, more personal approach to customer engagement.

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