In an era where the internet and mobile devices have transformed the consumer experience—and continue to do so at an accelerating rate—grocery stores have remained relatively unchanged compared to many industries.

In the United States, around 1.9% of all grocery sales take place online, compared to 7% in the overall retail industry.

While US online grocery sales are expected to rise to 2.9% of grocery sales by 2018, and with more than half of global consumers already willing to buy groceries online, a few fundamentals point the way to winning in the challenging industry.

Looking to succeed in online grocery sales? Look to women and moms

To increase online sales in the 634 billion dollar grocery store industry, it will be essential for grocery stores to reach women online, and especially moms.

Consider these statistics:

  • 75% of women are the primary shoppers for their household
  • Women drive 70-80% of consumer spending decisions with their influence
  • Nearly half of women surveyed say marketers don’t understand them

As women’s purchasing power continues to increase, and with so much consumer spending already driven by women, online ratings and reviews are a powerful tool for reaching women shoppers.

Women trust reviews more than brand advertisements

It’s been proven that online reviews are an effective tool for increasing sales. In fact, 52% of shoppers rely on online reviews when researching products and services.

Reviews are especially powerful in shaping purchase decisions among moms, with moms trusting consumer reviews 12 times more than brand-supplied descriptions.

Promoting reviews on grocery store websites and in grocery store product displays are excellent tools for helping consumers make purchase decisions.

Reviews are also effective for building excitement about local businesses like grocery stores, and 88% of consumers have reported reading reviews about local businesses.

Encourage women and moms to write reviews

Beyond providing valuable peer content, encouraging women and moms to write reviews gives your business beneficial feedback. This feedback can be used to improve your services and products.

Publicly responding to your reviews is also a powerful way of building brand loyalty, as shoppers who read helpful brand responses to reviews are 186% more likely to make a purchase, and show 157% higher average product sentiment.

Reviews also provide your business website with fresh consumer-generated content (CGC) that’s valued by search engines, which can help your business rank higher in online search results.

Ensure your grocery experience is mobile device friendly

Your customers are already on mobile devices in-store — creating a tremendous opportunity for grocery stores to deliver an online experience that drives sales, both in-store and online. This is especially true with millennial mothers, as 81% have reported using their device while in-store.

Customers are using mobile devices to compare prices with your competitors, read product reviews, and find coupons.

This makes it essential for your website to be mobile-friendly, including having up-to-date product prices and coupons. Coupons are especially powerful with more than 70% of mobile users using their devices to receive discounts.

Embrace reviews and mobile to reach women and moms

For grocery stores to improve their online shopping figures, a range of tactics and techniques are needed. But for any to succeed, it will be essential to target women and moms on their mobile devices.

Women and moms have shown great willingness to use their devices in store for reading reviews, checking product prices and using coupons—grocery stores offering these have the greatest chance for online success.

To learn more, download our latest whitepaper: The info-hungry consumer: 3 trends transforming the online food and beverage landscape