ALEXANDRIA, Va.—On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “E-commerce When We Need It Most,” NACS hosts Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives, and Carolyn Schnare, director of strategic initiatives, talk about how online ordering is changing American shopping habits with Robb Powell, president of e-commerce services for Advantage Solutions.
While most retailers consider their biggest competition being the convenience store down the street, the explosion in online orders is changing that. “What’s happened over the last 90 days here is that we’ve re-trained U.S. households to think about e-commerce as fundamental,” Powell said. “People are heading this way to get to that consumer at home or curbside pickup, because that’s where the growth is.”
Powell viewed the future as providing new ways for convenience stores to connect with customers. “Digital gives the opportunity to expand in a much broader way—almost like dark kitchens in the restaurant industry,” he said. “There is an opportunity for the more agile, nimble retailers” who can figure out how to deliver the goods customers want.
More people are planning their shopping trips, and that has become a routine. “The first 20-ish times you use an ordering app, you’re exploring,” Powell said. “Similar to first grocery trips in a new store. … The challenge with digital, about 80% of all shops come from the basket—what you’ve already ordered. … Using advertising to try to get in front of customers.”
Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. With more than 200 episodes to choose from, the podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and other podcast apps and YouTube and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded more than 130,000 times by listeners around the world.