6 grocery ecommerce industry learnings from 2020
December 31, 2020
It was a year to remember, as we welcomed more independent retailers and new teammates into the Rosie family than ever before. We strapped ourselves in for a bumpy ride, but among the twists and turns, we learned how to navigate unfamiliar terrain pretty darn fast, and built a stronger and more effective team to support the retailer partners that were determined to serve their communities and keep their employees safe.
As we embark into 2021, we reflect on 6 industry learnings that helped steer Rosie in the right direction, keeping us focused on the change that mattered most and ensured our partners’ success.
- Families across the US really enjoyed healthy meals together, at home. With restaurant dining at an all time low, *67% of surveyed respondents focused on at-home cooking (with a nod to healthy eating). Understanding that customers needed alternative solutions to popping into their neighborhood eatery, we developed Cater, an easy, online, solution for retailers to fill that gap and offer customizable, quick-serve meals for families to enjoy together. (Source: Consumer Trends Survey)
- From convenience to essential infrastructure, online grocery was the new normal. A recent study reported over *160% increase in YOY change in online grocery spending. Overnight, some retailers saw exponential increases in online orders, making Rosie features that manage slots and product availability a necessity. Wanting to ensure retailers were constantly learning, we kicked-off a monthly Fireside Chat series to help retailers adopt best practices and learn from fellow retailers who were in the trenches, too. (Source: Earnest Research)
- Products that stole the spotlight: Oat milk and sourdough. Bread machines and sourdough reached an all time high, and some products reached astonishing YOY growth (*oat milk = 204%, crab = 81%, dish soap = 34%). Why not empower retailers to showcase these in-demand products as soon as customers reach their page? In November, Rosie launched a new shopping experience that offers new merchandising capabilities, rivaling those creative in-store displays that attract customers to try new things. Whichever items you wish to spotlight, Rosie’s new shopping experience helps you drive eyes to the products you choose. (Source: Google Trends, Nielsen).
- Customers relied on 24/7 convenience. Overnight, our work/life culture shifted from dropping kids at school and running errands to everyone all together… all the time. As families adapted to a new normal, customers relied on retailers to deliver a seamless desktop and mobile experience, a promise we were able to help deliver on. We increased our tech and development teams by over 50 percent, allowing us to drive innovation so that our retailers can own the last mile and transform into The Store of the Future. We also focused on prioritizing features that helped retailers communicate to customers when particular items were out of stock, inventory management, refund support, and customer tools that allowed for self-sufficiency.
- More than ever, consumers expected brands to do good things. In a recent study, *80 percent of people believed brands should help make people’s lives better. Supporting local businesses, businesses supporting local people - it was a cyclical support system that helped communities thrive during challenging times. We were blown away by our partners' generosity to local organizations, the Santas that delivered curbside, and the overwhelming urgency that independent retailers had to offer a safe and affordable solution to their customers. (Source: Wunderman Thompson)
- Customers were willing to try new shopping methods. McKinsey reported 76% of consumers have tried a new shopping behavior since COVID started. We heard from many retailers that they were concerned that their in-store, local presence wouldn’t translate to an online store - how could they bring their unique brand to life? A combination of personalized marketing panels, out-of-the-box social media tactics, and announcement panels meant retailers could maintain and build relationships even better than before.
We appreciate our retailers who worked tirelessly to serve their customers, customers who embraced online shopping as a convenient way to keep their families safe, and all of the new and old Rosie team members who jumped right in to build a better online grocery experience. So long 2020, and here’s to a new year filled with less hurdles and more toilet paper.