6 Online Grocery Shopping Trends (& What To Expect)


At first, shopping for groceries online was a matter of convenience.

Now, it’s a matter of necessity.

And this shift in shopping habits has introduced a host of exciting online grocery shopping trends in the retail landscape — which every smart grocery store owner needs to take advantage of.

Let's dive deep into each of these trends, and forecast what the future holds for this booming sector.

1. Personalized Shopping Experience

Research shows that consumers value personalization in their online shopping experiences, and grocery shopping is no exception. Expect the grocery industry to follow suit and start offering personalized product suggestions based on past purchases, known preferences, and lifestyle choices.

Here’s a pro tip: Use your point of sale (POS) system to track customer buying behavior, and then use its marketing features to send personalized recipes or shopping lists to buyers via email or text.

2. Subscription Services

Convenience truly is king. Subscription services offer routine delivery of groceries directly to a customer's doorstep, removing the need to reorder regularly purchased items.

Remember that time you ran out of pasta and had to rush to the store? You — and your customers — never have to worry about that again. They can simply add a bag of rigatoni to their subscription, and they’ll be whipping up their favorite Sunday night meal in no time.

3. Increased Use of Mobile Apps

As the popularity of online grocery shopping increases, so does the use of mobile applications. Customers are browsing, comparing, and purchasing groceries via their smartphones more than ever — making grocery shopping an activity that can be done from anywhere, at any time.

If you own a grocery store, consider setting up an online grocery store with an app, so your store can always be within your customers’ reach.

IT Retail guide to POS hardware

4. Augmented Reality (AR) Experiences

Believe it or not, augmented reality is making its way into the grocery shopping field. The integration of AR into buying groceries online could allow shoppers to virtually tour your grocery store, pick out the items they need, and have them sent directly to their doorstep — all from the comfort of their own home.

Customers expect convenience, and this new technology is one of the easiest ways to give it to them.

5. Voice-Activated Shopping

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “Alexa, add milk to my shopping list”? As smart home technology grows, consumers are utilizing voice-activated systems like Amazon's Alexa or Google Home to place their grocery orders, and this hands-free shopping method is expected to rise in popularity.

If shoppers are able to “add to cart” straight from their kitchen, they’ll never have to make that dreaded trip back to the grocery store after forgetting a loaf of bread — and you can expect an increase in sales.

6. Popularity of Locally-Sourced Items

Online grocery retailers are experiencing a push towards locally-sourced produce. Consumers are demonstrating a desire to support local farmers and businesses, resulting in a demand for an increased availability of locally-sourced items online.

As a small business grocer, this is a great way to support other small businesses, too — which will help you build your brand reputation and attract loyal customers.

Take Advantage of Online Grocery Shopping Trends With IT Retail

As these trends continue to shape the future of online grocery shopping, it’s important to make sure you have the right tools to keep up with the evolving retail landscape.

Luckily, a grocery point of sale system with an e-commerce integration will allow you to take advantage of the ongoing popularity of online shopping — and IT Retail is the cream of the crop.

To learn more about how we can help you take advantage of these online grocery shopping trends — and how to take your business to the next level — schedule a demo with one of our industry experts today!