Dan Dashevsky, My Cloud Grocer
Independent supermarkets that offer products both in-store and online have an online basket size averaging between $120 and $184, based on the recent Brick Meets Click study. This compares favorably to Amazon Fresh at $84; Instacart, $98; Fresh Direct, $105; and Peapod, $147, as reported by 1010data.
Out of 19 independent banners participated in the BMC study, Breadberry supermarket in Brooklyn, New York, had an online basket size of $184, the largest reported.
Many of MCG’s clients have similar or even larger basket sizes than Breadberry’s. These 10 secrets have enabled our clients to achieve such outstanding results.
1. Speed matters.
Website visitors tend to care more about speed than about the bells and whistles we might be tempted to add to our websites. Google did an interesting experiment with regard to load times, asking web surfers if they would rather see 10 or 30 search results at a time. The users agreed that 30 results per page sounded like a good idea. Google then implemented this on some of their results pages. The shock came when traffic to pages that displayed 30 results dropped an astounding 20%.
Google then tested the loading time difference between the 10- and 30-result pages. They found that this was just half of a second.
So page loading time has been shown to be a crucial factor in user retention. It is also becoming a more important factor in search engine rankings.
2. Product photography.
The images on a site are another important factor. High-definition, mouthwatering pictures make a big difference when it comes to food shopping. Many website owners opt for the easy solution, and only display product images they can easily obtain from publicly available databases such as Kweeki and Item Master. These databases do not include all products, however, and image quality is often poor and inconsistent. The time and effort invested in high quality product photography to ensure that every product carried in the store is online and has a beautiful image pays good long-term dividends.
3. Less is more.
Instead of cluttering pages with as much product info as possible, keep it simple. Make the product image and a brief description the center of attention. Then you can add to the page some relevant and popular products to help customers remember to buy products that they may otherwise forget.
4. “Shop by recipe.”
Customers are looking for creative ideas to keep their meals fun. With a Shop by Recipes feature, they can find a recipe, click, and send ingredients to their shopping cart. The more interesting it is to browse your online store, the more your customers will buy from you.
5. “My favorites.”
Customers complete their shopping list much faster when they start with a pre-populated list of the products they normally buy. Once they are done with the basics, they have time to browse for more products, adding to the total basket size.
6. Digital circulars.
Everyone loves savings, and the more the better. Having plenty of items on weekly specials not only increases your in-store traffic but also increases your online basket size. Your printed flyer can only fit a limited number of items before it begins to look like a flea market and becomes impossible to read. Online, there is no limit to how many items you can display on special. Customers simply flip to the next page and keep on adding savings to their shopping cart.
7. Quick re-order.
By giving customers the ability to quickly send all the items from their previous order directly to their shopping cart, you’re simplifying their life and minimizing the possibility that they may forget an item or two.
8. Keep it fresh.
Let’s face it, shopping for groceries is not a recreational activity, but if you keep on introducing new products, it becomes more interesting, and this too will be reflected in your basket size.
9. Accurate order fulfillment.
Customers who are using your online order service are doing so for convenience, They want to save time for other priorities. If you fulfill their order quickly, and most important, accurately, you will see many more orders and higher order amounts now that they have trust in your service. Many MCG clients see increase in online basket size with customers who are placing their third and fourth orders. Once they develop the trust in your service, they will reward you with loyalty and larger basket sizes.
10. Good customer service.
As in brick and mortar stores, good customer service is the key to success. This is what differentiates you from your competitors. Be ready to replace the not-so-fresh strawberries that a personal shopper put into a customer’s bag by mistake. Customers will buy more online from you if they are confident that if something is not satisfactory you will take good care of them.