Grocery delivery tends to be expensive, with channel surcharges and the cost of tipping driving up prices, and with order minimums requiring larger purchases than one might be accustomed to.
For much of the pandemic, consumers with higher disposable income shelled out for the service, while those on tighter budgets continued to patronize physical stores. Now, as online grocery stores look to their post-pandemic future, many are trying to expand their audience to include those in all income brackets.
Instacart, for example, announced two moves over the past week to bring its offerings to a wider audience. The online grocery market on Thursday (April 14th) announced the expansion of its partnership with discount grocer Grocery Outlet to include nearly 400 stores in seven states.
“We know accessibility is important, and our successful pilot project has proven the value of just one hour delivery for Grocery Outlet customers,” said Instacart Vice President, Retail, Chris Rogers, in a press release. “As consumers continue to seek value, selection and convenience, we are proud to support Grocery Outlet as the retailer continues to create an engaging online experience for its customers.”
The program’s pilot, which launched in October, included fewer than 70 stores in California.
Read more: The on-demand economy comes for discount groceries
The news came just a day after Instacart announced it was partnering with Wegmans Food Markets to accept Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payments at all 106 stores across the country. grocer in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
See more : Instacart will accept EBT SNAP payments on Wegmans orders
“Grocery shopping online shouldn’t just be a luxury, and to make that happen, we need to make sure delivery and pickup is affordable for everyone,” said Sarah Mastrorocco, vice president of access. to food and nutrition at Instacart, in a statement. “We are excited to provide households that rely on EBT SNAP benefits greater access to Wegmans quality products and an extensive East Coast selection.”
In recent years, more grocers have added payment options with EBT SNAP online. For these companies, such initiatives broaden their audience, given that, according to 2019 data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 12% of the total population participates in the program.
Additionally, affordability is the primary motivator of consumer grocery shopping preferences. Research from PYMNTS’ January study, “Decoding Customer Affinity: The Customer Loyalty to Merchants Survey 2022”, created in collaboration with Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, found that 37% of shoppers cite price as the most influential factor when selecting a merchant to buy groceries from, a larger share says the same about any other factor.
Get the report: The 2022 Merchant Customer Loyalty Survey
Additionally, the study, which draws on results from a census-balanced survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers, found that price is an even more powerful motivator for consumers in the lower income than those in the middle or upper bracket, and 77% of grocers said that low prices would improve their loyalty to grocers.