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Symphony RetailAI is out with new research into the impact of omnichannel shopping habits, saying that "omnichannel grocery shoppers shop more frequently and spend up to 20% more compared to in-store-only shoppers."

In addition, the research shows that while "half of shoppers abandoned the channel after one online purchase, those who remained engaged became more loyal. The data suggests that retaining online and omnichannel shoppers, and encouraging in-store shoppers to make online purchases, will yield long-term loyalty for retailers in the new grocery landscape."

Some data points and analysis from the Symphony RetailAI research:

•  "Of customers making an online purchase in Q1 2021, Symphony RetailAI found that seven out of 10 returned and bought again within the same quarter. This is up from five out of 10 in Q1 2020."

•  "If an online customer returns to the channel seven times in the first three months, they are three times more likely to become a long-term engaged customer. While only one-third of customers are considered long-term engaged, they represent more than half of all online sales, making them four times more valuable."

•  "Online grocery sales doubled year over year. In Q1 2021, ecommerce sales represented 8% of total revenue sales. While this figure may seem small, it has doubled from Q1 2020. Furthermore, online sales contributed 50% of total revenue growth during Q1 2021, up 20% from before the pandemic."

KC's View:

I would guess that one of the reasons that online retail generates greater loyalty is that there is more specific data, with the ability to actually act on it in a way that doesn't happen in physical retail.

The fact is that the pandemic accelerated e-grocery trends … and probably, loyalty … in a way that I think will forever change the industry, probably in ways we cannot yet foresee.