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Retail Industry Updates

Digital Savviness in Grocery is a Big Differentiator

Tesco is the No. 1 retailer this year in the “Grocery Digital Maturity Benchmark” study.

It pays to be digitally savvy in the grocery industry.

That’s what Incisiv found in its second-annual “Grocery Digital Maturity Benchmark” study. While the overall grocery retail segment grew 8% in the 2020 second quarter compared to the same quarter in 2019, New York-based Incisiv found that the top 25% of the most digitally mature retailers grew 19% — or 2.4 times the industry average.

“Those who invested in digital early on are now reaping the benefits of higher sales growth,” said Amar Mokha, chief operating officer and benchmarking leader for Incisiv, a next-generation industry insights firm that helps retailers and brands navigate digital disruption in their industry. “Based on our research, there are a number of digital offerings grocers should look to adopt. With the prevalence of curbside pickup during COVID-19, we were surprised that less than 5% of benchmarked grocers offered curbside pickup turnaround in two hours or less. Additionally, only 6% of grocers we benchmarked offered the ability to search online for in-store pickup options. We found that 21% of grocers this year enable shoppers to choose picking preferences, like produce ripeness.”

With the increased importance of new fulfillment methods during COVID-19 shutdowns, UK-based Tesco outperformed BJ’s Wholesale Club, causing the retailer to jump from its No. 30 ranking in 2019 to No. 1 this year. Another retailer recognized for its achievements is Publix, moving from No. 46 in 2019 to the third-most mature retailer in 2020. Brookshire Grocery Company debuted within the top five this year, further emphasizing the competitive nature of smaller players in the new retail landscape.

In comparing to last year’s results, Incisiv found the following trends in digital evolution:

• Search and discovery. The biggest gains were made in onsite search and navigation, with 11% improvement in the ability to search category-specific options, and 13% improvement in the ability to view deals in the primary site menu.

• Ease of ordering. The 2020 benchmark showed 37% improvement in the ability to reorder from previous order history, and 16% improvement in the ability to see promotions while in the shopping cart view.

• FulfillmentThe 2020 benchmark also found a 20% gain in grocers offering free delivery with a minimum order value. In addition, the majority of groceries added curbside pick-up in the US market.

• Customer service and engagement. Digital maturation in 2020 pointed to an 18% gain in the ability for customers to save payment preferences and card details, and a 20% improvement in the number of grocers facilitating easy returns and refunds of products purchased online.

The top 10 leading retailers in the “2020 Grocery Digital Maturity Benchmark” are:

  1. Tesco
  2. BJ’s Wholesale Club
  3. Publix
  4. Brookshire Grocery Company
  5. Target
  6. Costco Wholesale
  7. The Kroger Co.
  8. Albert Heijn
  9. Schnucks
  10. Whole Foods Market

The “2020 Grocery Digital Maturity Benchmark” is an executive summary report based on Incisiv’s analysis of the digital presence of 90 leading grocery retailers, food banners and delivery providers in the U.S. and Europe. Click here to download the complete study.