Food is a basic necessity of life. Whether we are in the middle of a war or a pandemic, food rations are something that everyone needs and will continue to need for the rest of eternity. The covid-19 pandemic forced business owners to drastically change their approach. Business owners experienced massive profits post shifting their businesses online.
With technological innovations and digital development, the process of buying and selling has been simplified. Food rations can be easily bought from the comfort of your home with a click of a button. Perhaps this is one of the many reasons why the revenue of online grocery businesses is 285.70 billion globally, as recorded in 2021.
With new applications and businesses taking form ever so frequently, competition is on the rise, and stakes have never been higher. Digital marketing is essential to create brand awareness and also positively influence sales. It is integral for you as a grocery business to optimize your online presence and introduce innovative digital marketing strategies to stand out from your competitors.
Before we discuss the top digital strategies that can be implemented to increase the visibility of your online business, let us first understand what digital marketing is.
What is Digital Marketing & What are its benefits?
Digital marketing is the process of introducing consumers to products and services available in the market through online mediums. It helps in creating brand awareness and also establishes an easy and relevant source of information.
Digital marketing is also known as online marketing due to the utilization of online mediums to communicate. These channels of marketing can be emails, social media, or even messaging services.
Digital marketing adopts certain policies and guidelines of traditional marketing and blends them with modern tools and technology to meet the demands of the 21st century. It has transformed into a business necessity rather than a privilege due to high competition and a decrease in the authenticity of goods and services in the market.
There are several reasons for the increasing importance of digital marketing in present-day business scenarios. One of the main reasons for its importance is the digital shift that has occurred over the last two decades. More and more consumers are shifting to online modes of shopping, business, and payment. Consumers are spending an average of 6-7 hours online surfing through social media or shopping. Hence, digital domains are the perfect channels to place ads and find the right target audience. Hence, digital marketing is the most effective form of marketing.
Apart from these, it is highly cost-effective in comparison to traditional forms of marketing due to the limited amount of capital and resources that need to be invested. It is also highly flexible and customizable and hence permits room for innovation and creativity. With the existence of multimedia platforms that provide access to a global audience, there is no limit to the possibilities. Digital marketing can be utilized for the implementation of measurable strategies and hence is extremely beneficial to tracking progress and finding gaps in the plan.
Now that we have discussed the importance of digital marketing very briefly let us discuss 10 marketing strategies that will facilitate the optimization of your grocery business by reaching maximum consumers.
Top 10 Digital Marketing Strategies for Online Grocery Business
Here is the list of top 10 digital marketing strategies for online grocery businesses;
1. Creation and Optimization of a Website
The pandemic has drastically increased the growth of online grocery stores by almost 43% from 2019 to 2020. A digitally mature website is integral to attracting new consumers and retaining a loyal customer base. Hence, a seamless and highly efficient website needs to be created to ensure a hassle-free shopping experience to convert consumers into regular buyers.
Through the analysis of mature website leaders, four important features can be deemed important to the online success of a grocery business. Now, these businesses have generated over five times the revenue in comparison to their laggard competitors. The four features whose inclusion skyrocketed their sales and revenue are:-
- Search, and discovery is one of the important features. Reports claim that 90% of consumers check the inventory of a grocery store online before shopping, either online or in-store. Hence, a transparent and highly visible website that displays all of its inventory with the details and promotions available is a great way to attract more buyers. Target is a great example of this.
- Easy to navigate and a seamless checkout- Consumers need to be able to navigate through the website with ease and should experience a quick checkout process. The site should load relatively quickly and be extremely user-friendly. Over 70% of consumers have pointed out that checking out is a huge hassle for them. A great way to make the checkout system more convenient is to provide multiple payment options. This has been one of the main features that online grocery stores have focused on.
- Seamless execution and completion of orders- Shoppers require a seamless experience from the start to the end. And an optimized website would be ideal to experience the same. Multiple options from the inventory, a coagulated list of groceries, multiple payment options, and delivery facilities, and finally, an efficient tracking system is integral to attracting new buyers and retaining loyal ones.
- A vast inventory with customization- A website that is flexible and gives access to filters for customization is a great feature. It ensures a touch of personalization and keeps the consumers engaged. Over 50% of consumers have reported restrictions in their food intake and hence, an online grocery store that provides alternatives to meet their demands will result in the conversion of these consumers.
2. A User-friendly Application
68% of online shoppers prefer making purchases over a mobile phone rather than a laptop or a desktop. Hence a compact and mobile-friendly web application will attract more consumers.
Several important reasons make an app for your grocery business crucial. Some of them are- the high convenience that it creates for your customers; helps build and improve the brand image; provides a quick and convenient method of shopping and ordering; there is room for instant updates and promotions, and creates a sense of high user engagement by utilizing the already built-in features of the mobile phone.
Two sets of applications need to be developed to ensure a smooth and hassle-free user experience. One app for your customers and one app for your delivery staff. This allows for tracking and measures to be implemented at every step of the shopping process, thereby simplifying the entire experience.
3. Quality Customer Care and Assistance
An online shopping experience is completely different from an offline one. Although there are several advantages to online shopping, one cannot turn a blind eye to its cons. Since the customers are not able to handpick the groceries themselves as they would in a regular grocery store, there is an immense level of trust placed on the business. When this level of trust is not met at times, excellent customer service can ensure the return and engagement of customers despite unexpected mishaps.
A live chatbot handling queries in different languages and settings would put the customers at ease. Along with a chatbot, a team of well-trained personnel accessible to the consumers for further clarification is crucial. A return policy with terms and conditions would also be an added advantage, along with tracking and transparency with updates and delivery. A convenient mode of payment would entice more purchases from the consumers, and finally, a flexible timing slot facility for delivery would be the icing on top of the cake. All of these features will enhance your credibility as a business and reel in more conversions.
4. An Updated Google My Business Page
A Google my business page of a GMB page serves two main purposes- to improve SEO local ranking and establishing social credibility. An updated google page will provide your customers with all the essential information about your business. It is a rather well-known fact that consumers first look up a business on google before deciding on whether to make a purchase or not. Hence, an updated and fully optimized google page will increase your ranking locally and also establish social credibility.
For a grocery business, pictures of inventory, updated reviews, and integration into the google maps application are deemed extremely beneficial. And a GMB page would enable just that. Opening and closing hours, contact information, reviews, updated photos, website access, and Google Maps integration are the crucial features that need to be optimized for an efficient GMB page.
5. Versatile Modes of Payment
The world has inarguably changed after the pandemic. Due to the high-risk factors involved, many consumers prefer online, safe, and contactless transactions. Therefore, the need for versatile, quick, and easy payment gateways has increased. Payment gateways act as a bridge between the source and destination of the payment route. A bridge connects the customer’s payment account to the business’s deposit account.
As an online grocery business, the task of developing and implementing payment gateways can be outsourced to professional engineers and web developers. They would facilitate the creation of user-friendly payment methods and rewards systems that could result in increased sales for your business.
Different modes of payment like UPI, credit and debit cards, direct bank transfers, reward and points conversion matrix, private credit-based applications like SIMPL and LAZYPAY, and even the option of cash on delivery need to be provided for the convenience of consumers. Another convenient method could be to use store credits that customers can use for easy checkouts. All they need to do is update their wallets at the beginning of the month and use the money throughout.
Versatile methods of payment will ensure flexibility and help in high conversion rates of consumers. They would also create a unified system of payment that makes the process hassle-free for both the business and the customers.
6. Custom Message Notifications
As an online grocery business, goods that every individual requires on a day-to-day basis are your business product. Therefore, it is evident that a constant reminder of the availability of groceries and other food staples is necessary to generate more sales. It also facilitates your business to occupy a higher ranking than your competitors which will propel your business towards success.
Custom messages through messaging services or Whatsapp is a great way to establish a credible relationship with consumers to maintain their loyalty. Updates on the latest offers, new products, upcoming sales, and other exclusive rewards can be sent through these personalized messages, which keep the consumers engaged and curious. This will eventually force the consumers to make purchases based on the constant assistance given to them, which paints a genuine and beneficial image of the business.
7. Social Media Marketing
With most of us spending a good chunk of our day scrolling through posts, pictures, and videos on social media, it is undeniable that a strong social media presence can transform any business into a successful one. Marketing goods and services online through several social media platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn is known as social media marketing. Social media gives access to a global pool of consumers who are already available for conversions. These consumers need new and exciting businesses to meet their demands.
An optimized and engaging social media page could attract the right clientele for your grocery business and facilitate an increase in sales.
A relevant and trendy social media page on applications like Instagram and Facebook would spread brand awareness and create a sense of transparency. This would allow consumers to interact with the brand and keep them engaged. It creates an aura of authenticity and personalization when customers are given access to exclusive information and behind-the-scenes processes of your grocery business.
Rather than waiting for customers to interact with your store marketing campaigns, social media marketing evens the playing field and executes the tasks where consumers are already existing. It also allows for tracking and analysis of the engagement of the content, which enables your business to devise updates and implement better plans. It is undoubtedly one of the most cost-effective and highly impressionable marketing tactics existing in the 21st century.
8. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a direct form of digital marketing that provides a credible platform for a business to communicate with its customers. It adds a sense of personalization which helps in retaining loyal customers. It is a great way to market the updates of a business to a pool of guaranteed buyers. According to reports, 56% of the email clientele is the already existing consumer base of a business, and the rest are possible consumers. Hence, marketing plans need to be centered around these findings, which will be more fruitful for the business.
A grocery business needs to design emails and newsletters highlighting new inventory, exciting sales and offers, food recipes, and any new updates that the consumer might show interest in.
You need to find a possible list of clients from places that are associated with your business, like restaurants, cafes, festivals, community events, and other places that are a melting pot of people from all walks of life. This would be a great place to start. Emails and newsletters centered around this clientele and concerning topics mentioned above would be a great digital marketing tool to attract and retain consumers.
9. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Reports have claimed that 93% of all experiences, shopping or otherwise, begin with a search on existing search engines like Google or Yahoo. With new businesses developing frequently and the existing businesses still competing, your online grocery business must have more visibility and a higher ranking than your competitors. SEO would facilitate just that.
SEO is the process of optimizing the website and online presence of a business to increase its visibility and improve its rankings of that business on search engines. Technical and content SEO updates are performed regularly to ensure that the business website and information are up-to-date to maintain credibility. SEO is one of the best digital marketing strategies as it is highly cost-effective, measurable, has a much wider reach, and generates traffic organically. All these features establish the visibility and credibility of your grocery business, thereby converting more consumers into loyal customers.
There are several SEO tools available in the market to carry out a thorough audit of your website. Google Analytics, Google search console, Screaming frog, Semrush, Sprout Social, Buzzsumo, and HubSpot are just a few of the optimization software from a plethora that can be used to optimize your website. A thorough analysis can yield effective and data-driven measures to counter any existing gaps or loopholes,
10. Paid Advertisements or PPC (Pay-Per-Click)
Paid ads are one of the most commonly used digital marketing strategies. These are online banners or feeds that are run by marketing agencies for small and large-scale businesses. The size, frequency, and placement of these ads are dependent on the budget agreed upon by businesses. These are mostly used as they are data-driven, measurable, and offer a decent ROI on the products and services in the ad.
Pay-per-click ads also work on a similar model where a business pays the marketing agency an agreed-upon sum every time a consumer clicks on the ad. This online marketing strategy is highly efficient as payment needs to be made only when a user clicks on the ad regardless of the views that it gets.
An online grocery store needs to aggressively market its business to remain omnipresent for consumers. One way to ensure reach and returns is through paid ads. A digital marketing agency would run your business ads on different multimedia platforms, including social media, to reach as many consumers as possible based on the budget. This is extremely beneficial in increasing brand awareness and reach. Apart from these, the flexibility and customization concerning the budget, scale, audience and even content is a great conversion feature.
Interested in knowing more about the Digital Marketing Strategies for Online Grocery Stores? Then you must read this article right now – Click here!
These are just some of the top digital marketing strategies that can propel your grocery business to success. The pandemic accelerated the demand for a convenient form of shopping where the entire process could take place in the comfort of one’s home while still managing to recreate a walk-in-the-store experience.
Online businesses have been on an upward cliff over the last few years and seem to have reached new heights post the pandemic. In these extremely competitive times, trending, innovative and creative digital marketing strategies can make all the difference. The food business is not a trend, it is a necessity that will continue to rule the online business domain.
However, updating oneself with the evolving times is crucial to stay relevant and in business. Marketing your business with the right digital tools and tactics will sustain and facilitate the immense growth of your business for years to come.
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