New research findings from a Nielsen online survey of respondents from 56 countries around the world provide insight into digital influences on grocery shopping behaviour. In the graphic above, trends show that consumers are using social media to help purchase decisions often through recommendations from friends or online reviews..
Nielson reports that one-third of the world’s population is online, an increase of 528 percent over the past 10 years. While Internet penetration rates vary by geographic region; North America (79%), Australia/Oceania (68%), Europe (61%), Latin America (40%), Middle East (36%), Asia (26%) and Africa (14%), they continue to climb steadily—especially in the developing countries of the world.
Connected devices, such as computers, mobile phones and tablets have become a way of life for many, but shoppers are digitally engaged to varying degrees depending on the products they buy. Nielsen examines how shoppers use connected devices (computers, mobile phones and tablets) to aid in their household grocery shopping.
Digital’s influence on grocery shopping is on the rise
- Online shopping intentions for food and beverage categories
increased 44% in two years
- 6-in-10 global respondents used the Internet for grocery shopping research
- Nearly half (49%)of respondents purchased a product online
- Globally, 46% used social media to help make purchase decisions
- 37% purchased from online-only stores most frequently
The influence of social media on purchase decisions is growing across all regions, albeit at varying levels. Globally, 46 percent of respondents said they used social media outlets to help make purchase decisions, a rise of three percentage points from 2010. North Americans were the least reliant on social media at 21 percent, but have increased their dependency by seven points. Asia-Pacific respondents were the most active social media users to aid purchase decisions at 63 percent, an increase from 60 percent two years ago.
Middle Eastern/African respondents increased their dependency on social media the most, rising 10 percentage points to 50 percent in 2011. Forty-four percent of Latin American respondents and 32 percent of European online users relied on social media to help make purchase decisions, an increase of five and two points, respectively.
Social media is levelling the playing field among the competition, allowing smaller brands to compete. Marketers and brands need to focus and drive satisfied customers to use online ratings and reviews to share positive experiences, but it is a two-way communication conversation and marketers must engage in active dialogue in keep customers engaged.
Shopper marketing tactics are changing and there are several ways to grow positive engagement levels. Whether customizing the message for the shopper, more narrowly segmenting shoppers, or delivering more ‘authentic’ messages in brand communications, savvy digital strategies must help personalize and integrate value-added content to improve the user experience. First, focus on the right shopper. Not everyone is going to use digital. Nielsen research finds that one-of-four shoppers are considered ‘Trendsetters’.
These are generally shoppers that love to keep ahead, try new things and tell others about them. They are typically younger compared to other segments, have children in the household and are a bit more affluent compared to the general population. Second, engage shoppers with the right message. ‘Trendsetters’ tend to be more digitally engaged, but that is still dependent on what they are buying.
Determine what activities are important to core shoppers and customize the offering. If shoppers are more dealcentric, provide coupon promotions. Third, connect with shoppers via the right medium. An increasingly complex landscape provides consumers with a wide array of choices. Marketers need to focus on the medium that provides the best return on investment. Think about product usage and devise strategies that speak to the needs of consumers.
Pair mobility with need and create apps that, for example, make it easier to create a shopping list, refill prescriptions or navigate a store. Whether the platform is online, mobile, social or in-store, prioritise the medium based on the impact it drives and the feasibility of deploying it.
Read and download Nielson’s full report below: