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Consumer insights: What a “seamless” experience means to the omnichannel grocery shopper

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By: Kelli Fulton, Collaborative Insights Manager
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Shopping behaviors have been disrupted by a variety of factors over the last few years. From COVID-19 and supply chain issues to rising inflation that’s left shoppers keeping a close eye on their wallets, all of this uncertainty has driven changes in the ways customers shop, both in-store and online.  

Constrained budgets are affecting where these omnichannel retail customers shop, what they buy and how they save. As a result, ecommerce has accelerated. What started as a spike in trips due to health orders and safety concerns has shifted into a maintained-to-increasing behavior. 

With more omnichannel shoppers adding ecommerce to their routines, it’s crucial for brands to make sure they provide an online experience that meets these customers’ needs. A recent study by 84.51° revealed that the key to ensuring a positive online experience for omnichannel shoppers is to provide a seamless experience between their in-store and online shopping.   

Consumer insights: What does seamless mean to shoppers?

Omnichannel shoppers expect to receive the same experience across their online and in-store shopping. Our research found that when asked what specific factors they expect to be the same or similar between online and in-store shopping, their top priorities included coupons (67%), pricing (66%), quality of the products (61%) and brands offered (56%). 

Order accuracy and availability are also extremely important to the seamless online shopping experience. Three quarters (75%) of omnichannel shoppers said if an item they tried to order online was unavailable, they’ll try to get that item again at the same retailer — either on their next online trip, or by going in-store. But the other 25% value accuracy and availability so much they will try to get that item elsewhere. This includes some shoppers (6%) that will even switch their entire cart to a different online retailer to get what they need, which could disproportionally impact a retailer’s sales — not only for that particular order, but also possibly for future orders.   

Other factors omnichannel shoppers said they consider important when shopping online include the ability to apply coupons or offers, the quality of the substitutions offered, and having an easy site or app experience.  

CPG insights: Addressing omnichannel shoppers’ needs

To meet these expectations, several strategies can help keep omnichannel shoppers in the ecommerce experience. In addition to making sure pricing and promotions are the same in-store and online, brands must also prioritize ensuring their items are available and accurately represented. Consider the following to meet shoppers’ needs and increase ecommerce loyalty: 

  • Supply: Ensure that during key selling periods, your products are available both online and in-store to increase satisfaction. 

  • Online accuracy: Make sure the items your shoppers expect to find in-store can also be found online. 

  • Relevant coupons: Do you have the coupons that households are looking for online (even if purchasing in-store)?   

  • Offering quality substitutions: Make sure if shopper’s first choice is not available, a substitution is offered that they will be happy with. 

Discover more consumer insights about omnichannel shopper expectations 

Inflation will continue to cause disruption in shopping behaviors as post-COVID “normal” continues to evolve. As ecommerce grows, brands must develop an omnichannel approach that offers the same experience no matter how or where shoppers choose to make their purchases. For more insights on how to provide a seamless shopping experience, read our new white paper, Winning with the omnichannel shopper in the face of disruption. 


Kelli Fulton Headshot
Kelli Fulton, Collaborative Insights Manager
As Collaborative Insights Manager, Kelli Fulton collaborates across stakeholders to develop research plans that address business needs and drive action. Kelli moved into to her current position in 2021 after serving a...

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