Amazon Grocery Reach Expands

As calendars and bellies fill to the brim during the holiday season, more and more folks will be looking to online grocery shopping to solve their packed-out schedules. Where will they look?

The answer may not come as a surprise: Amazon. The rate at which Amazon outclasses the competition may surprise you, though. According to the Motley Fool and a study by Brick Meets Click, “…the e-commerce giant has increased its ­dominance of online grocery sales, capturing 30% of the entire market. No individual company even comes close, though supermarkets combined have the same percentage as Amazon…”

Interestingly, Amazon is dominating the online grocery market by focusing on both online and brick-and-mortar. Their methods signal an aggressive push to expand their reach and influence in the grocery market.

Is your Amazon strategy ready?

Amazon Grocery

Growing Market Ripe for Innovation

According to the Food Marketing Institute, online grocery sales will account for approximately $100 billion in sales by 2025, becoming one-fifth of the total grocery market. As traditional brick-and-mortar retailers vie for ways to keep those dollars, and online retailers seek out ways to get a larger share, the market has a lot of opportunity for innovation.

It has already seen quite a bit of convergence between online and offline shopping. Consumers have more convenience options than ever, with the ability to shop online and have bags loaded into their car at the store, or even have food loaded into their fridge while they’re away.

Amazon Grocery: Where do we Stand Today?

Amazon Go and Whole Foods Stores

Amazon is setting up to meet consumers where they are at, whether they are looking online for weekly groceries or want a quick bite from a corner deli. The online retail giant has invested in brick-and-mortar options with their purchase of Whole Foods in 2017. They’ve also set a goal of opening 3,000 Amazon Go convenience stores by 2021.

Earlier this year, Amazon took a page from the playbook of traditional grocers by introducing a shop-online/pick-up-in-store option for Whole Foods. One of the main difficulties for online retailers is getting groceries that final mile. The profit margin is typically low, and the logistics of keeping food fresh or cold can be a challenge. Physical stores can help overcome some of these challenges, removing the need for separate distribution centers.

Amazon is a threat to corner markets as it branches into brick-and-mortar stores. One of the key benefits for Amazon is their wealth of consumer data. Unlike a typical convenience store or mom-and-pop shop, Amazon can blend intent to purchase with actual purchase info to curate and market products with far greater accuracy.

Amazon Fresh, Prime Now

In their home turf of online shopping, Amazon has two main ways to purchase groceries. Amazon Fresh allows consumers to purchase groceries online and have them delivered. Prime Now seeks to meet consumer needs more quickly, with delivery promised between 30 minutes (for a fee) and 2 hours (free for Prime members). In the future, these two are expected to merge, although details have not been released.

For now, it’s important to make sure your Amazon grocery strategy addresses both of these needs.

Be Ready for Whatever’s Next

We’ve written quite a bit about how to get your product pages ready to meet the next iterations of grocery purchasing. Here are a few tips:

  • Start with the basics. Make sure your essential content (including titles, bullets, main product images, etc.) is meeting your customers’ needs and optimized for discoverability.
  • Get your Enhanced Amazon A+ content in place. This longer-form content includes things like lifestyle photography and recipes and inspiration. Here is an example of great A+ content.
  • Improve. If you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to move from adequate content to great content. This article reviews several product pages to show how to get your content in shape.

All the innovation coming in the grocery market means that traditional in-store strategies likely won’t cut it. Whether consumers are turning to online shopping to have groceries delivered, or turning to online shopping to pick up at the store, the key is that they are turning to online shopping. Now is the time to make sure your strategy involves a solid Amazon presence.