Digital Shopping Changes How Retailers Earn Loyalty

It’s easier for people ordering online to have a wandering eye.

March 29, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The pandemic accelerated the growth of the online grocery market, but it is tough to earn and retain the loyalty of digital shoppers, reports

A new report from digital insights firm Incisiv, “Shopper Loyalty in the Digital Age: Hard to Win, Easy to Lose,” fielded in partnership with the Food Industry Association and Loyal Guru, explains 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,” according to the report. “This shift in behavior is due to the convenience of anywhere-shopping and the ease of making purchases from digital devices. 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.”

But digital shoppers, grocers feel, are prone to have a wandering eye. Nearly three in four grocers (74%) say that digital shopping has made customers less loyal, while 71% say that improving shopper loyalty is a priority. A poor web and mobile experience negatively impacts loyalty, according to 76% of grocers. 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,” according to 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.”