By: Hilary Thesmar, PhD, RD, CFS, Chief Food and Product Safety Officer and Senior Vice President Food Safety, FMI
Online grocery shoppers are looking for convenience, but that doesn’t mean they are willing to sacrifice their health and wellness goals. When it comes to serving online grocery shoppers, food retailers can do more to meet shoppers’ health and wellness needs. The 2019 Retailer Contributions to Health and Wellness report finds that while 94% of food retail survey respondents offer online shopping, only 70% extend their health and wellness initiatives to those shoppers.
Creating Shoppable Content
FMI partnered with FitForCommerce, a boutique consultancy firm specializing in ecommerce and omnichannel retail, on the 2019 Grocery Omnichannel Index. This project included mystery shopping food retailers’ omnichannel experiences and developing a benchmarking index to help food retailers meet expectations for seamless and convenient online grocery shopping experiences. One of the findings from this report is that only 50% of the grocers included in our mystery shopping have taken steps to make content shoppable.
Shoppable content is one way to integrate health and wellness programs into the online experience. Retailers report social media, websites, mobile apps, and emails among the health and wellness communications tactics used. While these digital channels are being used to share health and wellness tips and suggestions, they are often not integrated into the online shopping experience. For example, if a store dietitian shares a weekly email with shoppers featuring a healthy meal plan, is the content easily shoppable for the email recipient? Creating shoppable health and wellness content can go a long way toward integrating a store’s health and wellness program with online shopping efforts.
Merging Health and Wellness Programs Online
Food retailers also have an opportunity to leverage their most effective health and wellness tactics to enhance online shopping for customers. For example, store dietitians, rated a most effective health and wellness tactic, could take their services online with curriculums and counseling integrated with online shopping to help serve shoppers both in-store and online.
Innovation Will Lead to Trust
Opportunities abound for food retailers to leverage their health and wellness programs to better meet online shoppers’ needs. By creating innovative programs, food retailers will continue to be a trusted partner by shoppers looking to meet their ‘eating well’ goals both in-store and online.