Incisiv: Grocers Look to Gain Loyalty Among Digital Shoppers

A new report from Incisiv features survey results from grocers that detail how they plan to gain customer loyalty in an increasingly fragmented online market.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Online grocery shopping

While COVID-19 accelerated the online grocery market, customer loyalty is still hard to earn from consumers, according to digital insights firm Incisiv’s new report. 

The report, “Shopper Loyalty in the Digital Age: Hard to Win, Easy to Lose,” fielded in partnership with FMI- The Food Industry Association and Loyal Guru, details how grocers view building a loyal online consumer base.

“In 2022, 63% of shoppers used digital channels to purchase groceries, and many expect to continue doing so in 2023,” said Incisiv in the report. “This shift in behavior is due to the convenience of anywhere-shopping and the ease of making purchases from digital devices. Furthermore, consumers are also using their mobile devices to enhance their store experience. They use them to search for product locations, learn more about products, receive offers, and compare prices. This use of technology creates a more convenient and personalized shopping experience, driving the growth of the digital grocery market.”

According to the report, 14% of all grocery sales were digital in 2022. Due to this high-penetration, 71% of grocers say that improving shopper loyalty is a priority in 2023.

This year, grocers indicated that they are looking to reduce the impact of inflation on the shopper (93%), acquire new shoppers (85%) and improve shopper retention (77%) in order to gain loyalty.

Incisiv grocery loyalty data

“Grocers expect a substantial increase in the share of sales generated through their loyalty programs,” said Incisiv. “They expect the share of sales generated through their loyalty programs to increase from 56% in 2022 to 69% in 2025.”

A vast majority (74%) of grocers say that digital shopping has made customers less loyal to one particular retailer, and 76% said that they believe a poor web and mobile experience negatively impacts shopper loyalty. Top challenges in loyalty transformation include the cost of building a loyalty program (93%), being limited by a third-party technology platform (85%) and integrating with digital channels (77%).

“Grocers need an omnichannel view of their shopper journey and to understand what drives and impedes loyalty,” said Incisiv. “A poor digital experience or friction at key moments can lead shoppers to defect. Grocers need to upgrade their loyalty platforms to better integrate with digital channels, reduce cost, and improve the technology platform for better shopper experience and loyalty.”

The full report can be found here.