In my previous post, Food Delivery Trends in 2021 That Will be Opportunities, I touched on how food delivery platforms were starting to dip their toes into new verticals, including grocery. This comes as no surprise as online grocery shopping has also witnessed explosive growth. Online grocery sales rose 54% in 2020 and sales are expected to exceed 100 billion dollars in 2021. Brands such as Instacart, Target, Tesco, and HappyFresh continue to benefit from this acceleration and work to improve their technologies to meet the demand.
To compete and win market share, companies must elevate their digital capabilities, which includes implementing a photography solution that showcases products online quickly, accurately, and entices consumers to make a purchase. Let’s examine three elements that will bring your digital grocery strategy to the next level:
A Branded Image Catalogue
Create an image catalogue for the more generic items (fruit, vegetables, etc) that resonates with your audience. Does your audience engage best with products on a wooden background, packshots, or 360-degree images? For these more regular and core purchases, it is imperative to have consistent and on-brand visuals that are readily available to build consumer loyalty and drive sales.
Further, when brands invest in high quality and exclusive content, they are not only prioritizing their customers, they are setting the standard for their competitors. Stock images may be convenient, but they open a brand to looking exactly the same as others. Custom content will set you and your products apart and is an investment in boosting your brand image and differentiation.
Tip: All images within your catalogue should be metadata enriched and optimized to provide better visibility on search engines.
Unique Assortment Product Photography
For those more unique or seasonal items, customized visuals that provide vivid details are essential. According to eCommerce leader, BigCommerce, a staggering 78% of consumers said they not only want but expect compelling product images when shopping online. Online grocery shoppers are no exception. Not having the ability to physically see or touch products, photos and videos are instrumental in a consumer’s decision and buying process.
When producing unique content, it is key to track image performance. OCUS’ cutting edge technology detects which attributes contribute to an image’s success. Through these data-driven insights, the OCUS team continuously updates brand photography guidelines to maximize conversion.
Tip: Having additional lifestyle visuals that depict how unique items can be incorporated into dishes or settings will help further boost engagement.
Visualize the brick-and-mortar experience on Google
Kicking old and beloved habits such as strolling through grocery aisles are in no way gone for good. According to Mercatus, 60% of new online shoppers will revert back to their in-store shopping habits. Slowly and surely, some consumers will return to their local stores. However, this time they will have different expectations and needs. Photos and visuals will be pivotal in bridging this gap between the in-store and digital experience.
Prior to COVID, brands such as Whole Foods, were experimenting with in-store initiatives such as yoga classes. The movement to create a more experiential visit is sure to return, as will changes to in-store layouts and merchandising. Curbside pickup, which has seen significant momentum, is also here to stay. Show, don’t tell consumers of these changes and visually depict what their experience will be in their local environment.
Tip: Are your brand’s local stores accurately shown on Google My Business? Check out OCUS’ blog post on how localized photos help brands stand out on Google to attract, engage and win customers.
The OCUS Solution
Consumers are going to expect a brand and product relevance no matter which channel they are using to make decisions and ultimately purchases. We know it is likely they will use many channels and will look for the same service, product and custom selection in all. The challenge is for Grocers to connect physically and digitally. OCUS has partnered with many of our retailers and brand clients to optimize the buying experience for today’s digital and physical world.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org today, to learn how the OCUS solution can drive results specific to your business needs.
Written by: Noelle Brophy – Solution Marketing Manager