A new survey conducted by Pew Research shows that millennials will become the largest population in the U.S. by the end of 2019, and this is expected to bring a dramatic hanger in the way people shop for food. Millennials, and the younger generation, by and large, prefer to buy their food online, and in fact, there’s some statistics suggesting that they spend as much as $600 billion annually, and more than sixty percent of millennials prefer to shop online using mobile devices.
With such a huge market opening up, grocery retailers like Mercato.com have an opportunity to establish themselves as the premier shopping location in an industry that is driven by aesthetics and convenience.
But while it’s not possible to generalize this entire segment, there are a number of common trends that can be said to govern this be market. For business owners who want to grab a share of this multi-million dollar food market, the following key features must be observed in order to draw in younger consumers, and of course the old millennials.
Click-and-collect is changing grocery shopping
In the past, the lack of interest in purchasing fresh produce online meant that businesses had to put up some losses if they attempted to invest in fresh produce. There had been a general lack of demand for fresh produce online, and that also meant that some buyers would have the awful experience of buying stale foods – at least products that didn’t match what they got from the fresh produce section in the stores.
This, however, is changing following a spike in the number if adults buying food online. As previously mentioned, millennials make up a large section of the population. Combine that with the shift in consumer habits, and the 60 percent (or thereabouts) of internet users who use mobile devices. All these factors mean that spending habits will hanger, and more specifically, you will find more people buying groceries online.
Mobile growth is shaping e-commerce in general
It’s not only the food market that is experiencing a shift in consumer habits. Practically every industry has been affected by the rise of the smartphone. Also, keep in mind that millennials are the first generation to completely embrace mobile technology, as they’ve grown up with IoS and Android as the platforms that connect them to every aspect of daily life. So yes, part of the recent changes in grocery shopping have to do with the fact that younger people are using the internet for everything including buying food.
Price is still an important factor among consumers
Bear in mind that price isn’t the only factor millennials consider when making purchases online – though some would argue that it’s a major aspect. It’s the whole process and every element that goes into buying groceries – so for instance, the variety of produce offered, the efficiency of their delivery service, and even random things like how aware the store owners are about nutrition, proper storage; and of course existing discounts and other offers. Remember, most of these online stores including the likes of Walmart and Amazon are offering groceries at the same price that you’d get in local brick-and-mortar stores. The added advantage is that you are able to save time and if the store starts offering loyalty discounts, then you have a chance to save time and money by having them drop off your groceries.
Store associates no longer needed
In the past, consumers found it necessary to engage with store associates when buying food and other items, but the younger generation seems more willing to let go of this human connection, and will gladly buy anything online without any concerns. The rise of AI and robots also means that larger warehouses will come up, filled with robots whose only job is to fill your order by making sure you get what you ordered, though it’s not immediately clear how much of this process will be taken up by robots.
As technology continues to evolve, they might come up with robots that know the smell of fresh vegetables, so that we can all find convenience with grocery shopping.
In the meantime, the number of people buying groceries through the internet is rising, and with that, you can find more fresh food online. It’s probably the lack of demand that initially caused people to buy bad food. But all that us changing thanks to millennials and their enthusiasm with technology.
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