Recently, the Canadian market has been experiencing a shift towards increased online shopping. Large retailers like Amazon and Walmart have started pushing for online grocery shopping and the latest innovation, in-fridge delivery. Now the question consumers face is: Are we ready for online grocery shopping and the direction it is going in? Let’s take a step back and look at the readiness of this market.

A recent survey by Prodege MR highlights that Canadian consumers are still hesitant in ordering their groceries online. Between shipping costs and the preference to roam the isles of the local supermarket, the impression still persists that online grocery shopping means lower quality or less fresh products.

Canadian consumers have a range of meal-kit delivery services to choose from. Among Swagbucks.ca’s members, data shows that Meal kit delivery services such as HelloFresh and Chef’s Plate are growing in popularity. However, members have encountered certain limitations related to the variety of ingredients and recipes, or difficulties in accessing particular ingredients. Cost and resources appear to be a commonly voiced issue, but this is likely linked to misconceptions.

If Canadians are reluctant to even do online grocery shopping, having food delivered directly into your home or ordering your meal kits on a daily basis will be a big jump and involve building a lot of awareness and trust with customers.

Thus, building awareness and clearly explaining the step-by-step process of the products could be key. Expanding the geographic reach could be a further improvement to maximise exposure and trust in consumers. Companies should provide incentives to their consumers, such as free shipping or one-day delivery services, as a means of building a long-lasting relationship.

It becomes evident in the recent Swagbucks survey that closing the gap between consumer reluctance and market ambition would be to offer free delivery for any order size. Delivery overall needs to be improved upon as most Meal Kit companies still don’t deliver across all of Canada. Although there is still a long way to go, we are starting to experience a growing change in consumers’ perceptions towards online grocery shopping. Do you still remember using Amazon just to buy books?

 

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Katie Crockford

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