For all the talk about how online shopping has skyrocketed, especially amid the pandemic, the in-store shopping experience still reigns supreme. In fact, a staggering 90% of grocery shopping still occurs in-store.

On its face, the notion sounds counterintuitive. In a culture that values convenience and efficiency above all else, why are shoppers still choosing to spend time (and gas money) traveling to the store to squeeze pears and knock on watermelons? Especially when they could just select the items they want on the retailer's website and then schedule delivery?

Here are a few reasons why in-store grocery shopping is still the preferred shopping method among consumers, even after a year and change of lockdowns:

Inspection. When shopping for produce or any other perishable food item, shoppers value freshness. They’ll gladly make the trip to a brick and mortar store to inspect cuts of meat and check apples for bruises if it means walking away with the highest quality product possible. Shopping is still very much a sensory experience for consumers who prefer to choose items after examining, touching, or even sniffing them. Plus, shoppers like to know exactly what they’re buying. That’s an experience a photograph on a website or app can’t replicate.

Immediate gratification. If a customer is experiencing a craving for chips and guacamole, they can satisfy their craving immediately, or as close to immediately as possible. Shoppers prefer the freedom of going to the store and enjoying their goods on their own timeline rather than scheduling deliveries that may take as long as a day or two (or even more) to arrive. Plus, when given the choice, shoppers would prefer to not be tethered to their homes to accept a delivery.

Service. Shopping in a brick-and-mortar store offers a level of personalized, face-to-face service the online experience has yet to replicate. When shopping in a grocery store, at least a couple of salesclerks are on hand to answer questions, offer recommendations, or help in other ways. It takes more effort to receive help from an actual human being when you’re shopping online.

Savings. Delivery fees. Delivery tips. Return fees. Shopping online and having groceries delivered typically involves extra fees for services rendered. On the other hand, some stores offer exclusive deals and sales to their on-site shoppers. More often than not, in-store is the more affordable option—and consumers value that.

Experience. Customers love a good shopping experience. If the lines are brief, and the staff is helpful, people will keep coming back. They enjoy browsing the aisles and discovering new products. Some of them enjoy the music played over the soundsystem. All of these tiny variables combine into a holistic shopping experience that’s convenient and pleasant enough to inspire brand loyalty and incentivize in-person trips to the store. In light of recent events, many people simply enjoy being out of their houses and out in the world, even if it’s just a quick run to the store to pick up barbecue supplies.

None of this is to say that online shopping is completely divorced from the in-store experience. The contemporary shopping journey is more of a marriage between the two, with customers browsing their favorite retailers’ apps and sites, hunting for deals, looking for digital coupons, and taking advantage of their favorite stores’ loyalty programs.

Swiftly is the only digital shopping solution designed to work with the hybrid on-site/online shopping experience. Brick and mortar stores who have used Swiftly to build or enhance their digital platforms report a 40% increase in trips to the store and a 10% sales increase at checkout time. With Swiftly, you can engage with your customers at every touchpoint in their shopping journey—from when they’re browsing on their mobile devices to scanning items at checkout. Harnessing the power of AI, Swiftly enables you to deliver a personalized ad experience to every customer.

Curious to learn more about how Swiftly can improve the online and in-store shopping experience for your customers? Get in touch today.