As grocery sellers see the benefits of removing key points of friction from their e-commerce channels, many are now looking at ways to integrate commerce opportunities into other digital actions of consumers.
On Monday (January 3), for example, supermarket chain Sprouts Farmers Market announced a weekly January live stream with the goal of turning consumer enthusiasm inspired by New Year’s resolutions for wellness trends into grocery purchases. The series, Progressive Grocer, will focus on a range of health-related nutritional topics, with weekly grocery app deals matching the products and trends discussed in the videos.
Retailers aren’t the only food companies leveraging the power of contextual commerce to drive sales. Also Monday, Marquee Brands, the parent company of Martha Stewart brands, announced a partnership with shopper marketing platform Chicory, which specializes in creating shoppable recipes, to integrate these features into Martha.com content. Since the site sells both food and cookware, the chances for product recommendations are plenty.
“With Martha.com, we focus on using digital technology to expand and enhance the values that have made Martha Stewart one of the most trusted brands in the world,” Marquee Brands CEO Neil Fisk said in a statement. “We are always looking for new ways to improve and simplify the shopping experience for our customers.”
Soon, the grocery industry’s contextual initiatives will likely extend beyond entertainment content into commerce spaces for conversations such as SMS-based orders and voice assistants, as these moves are a compelling way to reach the industry’s most connected customers. PYMNTS’ 2021 How We Eat Playbook, created in collaboration with Carat of Fiserv, found that consumers who order more groceries and restaurant meals online are three times more likely to use voice assistants.
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One only needs to look at what nonprofits are doing to get a sense of what the immediate future may hold for grocers. On Monday, the non-profit Share Our Power in Cooking campaign announced a partnership with Bright by Text, an organization focused on educating parents and caregivers, to send healthy recipes via SMS. The potential benefit of such capabilities for grocers is clear, allowing consumers to interact with their products the way they communicate with their friends.
“We know that parents and caregivers are looking for ideas and tips for quick, easy and affordable meals to feed their families,” Jessica Cowit, Senior Director of Content at Share Our Strength, said in a statement. “Partnering with Bright By Text helps us reach more families with relevant and relevant tips, ideas and recipes delivered the way parents want.”
These initiatives come at a time of increasing adoption of e-commerce channels for food sellers. Research from PYMNTS’ What Consumers Expect from Grocery Shopping Experiences, created in collaboration with ACI Worldwide, shows that between October 2020 and June 2021, an eight-month period, the share of consumers who reported making more of their grocery purchases online because they believed that Easier and more convenient digital options increased from 60% to 73%. As these channels become increasingly frictionless, the number of consumers taking advantage of them will continue to rise.
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