Nearly a year into the global pandemic and the sustained growth in online sales for the food and beverage industry clearly demonstrates that the novelty of online shopping is not wearing off and instead has become the new and preferred shopping habit for many. Research conducted by NielsenIQ and The Food Industry shows that in 2020, Americans spent $106 billion on food and beverages online – a 125% increase from 2019. And this growth continues as shoppers spend $3 billion more per month of food and beverage sales than in 2019, taking the category to the top and outpacing all other categories by accounting for 44% of online sales.
Whilst the global pandemic did of course accelerate shoppers to purchase online, it is interesting to see how brands and retailers adapted their strategies to attract and gain new shoppers, drive repeat purchases and increase the average basket spend per shopper.
Instacart has been a major contributor to the growth in food and beverage as NielsenIQ insights shows the retailer sold $15.7 billion in food and beverages online in the latest 52 weeks ending November 30, 2020. It was a fantastic year for the retailer with a 17% increase in new merchants registering with the platform from 2019 to 2020.
As a leading US grocery delivery and pick up service, Instacart focused on ensuring shoppers’ experience on the Instacart platform was engaging and its retailers and brands alike are able to get a widespread understanding of product performance on the platform. The use of consistent and high quality images and product data presented on Instacart not only boosted the shopper experience but engagement. However, it is the utilisation of the largest scope of reference data in the market, underpinned from NielsenIQ, that Instacart are now able to take themselves to the next level and utilise reference data to standardise and cleanse its product taxonomy data, and enable more rich and compelling analytics for their clients.
In today’s competitive landscape, for a retailer to leverage reference data across ecommerce platforms to improve the discovery of products, standardisation and personalisation to fit the needs of the shopper, this sets them apart from the rest. Product transparency is key for shoppers and by utilizing reference data, retailers are able to streamline the discovery of products by improving search and sort functionality, allowing shoppers to find appropriate products based on their needs, improving basket size. This in turn supports retailers to learn about the shopper through their purchasing decisions, ensuring that future promotions and interactions can be tailored to the shoppers needs by personalising the online shopping experience.
In an ever evolving industry, understanding the shopper is critical. By having a better understanding of what the shopper wants and needs, and utilising insights against sales data to understand where success is coming from, you will be one step ahead from the rest. If you would like to find out more about how you can stay ahead of the competition and meet the needs of your shopper, contact the Nielsen Brandbank team below.