By Annie Wold


The grocery store market has evolved over the years. People used to have no other choice but to shop in-store for their items. However, now that consumers have the convenience of online ordering at their fingertips, the industry is shifting, and more and more people are wanting to shop online for their groceries. So, the next time it’s -40 degrees in Chicago and I don’t want to go outside, I now have the luxury of getting my groceries delivered right to my doorstep!


Data shows that grocery shopping primarily remains an in-store experience. According to a 2018 Mintel Report, only 32% of U.S. consumers have purchased groceries online—although that number is growing with Generation Z and Millennials. In that same Mintel report, data shows that 59% of Americans have expressed interest in online grocery shopping and 62% have purchased groceries online but picked them up in-store.


Even with online ordering on the rise, the grocery store industry still faces challenges before they can become fully online-dependent. Consumers are cautious of ordering online because they must put full trust in the grocery store/delivery services. Consumers are wary as they don’t like that they lose out on picking their produce, poultry, etc. So, the majority of consumers are only buying select items digitally. A 2019 Coresight Research report states that “72.4% buy only a small proportion of their groceries online while 11.8% buy a lot of their groceries online.” Also, 26% of consumers hesitate before shopping at grocery chains online as they believe that the prices are higher.


The fact that there is an increase in digital grocery shopping yet still a strong in-store presence puts traditional grocery stores in a unique spot in terms of their advertising potential. They have the ability to market to consumers to drive and retain both online and in-store shoppers.


Tips and Tricks:

  • The 2018 Mintel report found that 61% of grocery shoppers prefer seeing customized promotions/coupons. Depending on your client’s goals, promoting deals while carefully selecting your target audience can help create interest, boost clicks, and drive sales!
  • Focus on mobile devices when reaching grocery store consumers. Based on a Deloitte report from 2019, mobile devices are directly influencing grocery shopper behaviors. In this report, they found that consumers are using their smartphones as a touchpoint to research brands, recipes, and coupons before going and while inside the grocery store.
  • Try to make an emotional connection with the consumer through your digital advertisements. The Deloitte report found that “[consumers] like to buy brands and shop at retailers who share [their] same values and interests.”


Below you’ll find a suggested starter plan for the Grocery vertical. This plan can be customized based on your advertiser’s specific goal and audience. Keep in mind that this target will vary depending on the type of store, the target audience, and the client’s goal. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your Centro team if you have any questions!


  • Audience Targeting – Grocery Shoppers, Grocery Delivery Shoppers, Grocery Loyalty Card Users, Parenting & Family. Find users who have shown a behavior or interest in grocery shopping or reach users who need groceries frequently.
  • Contextual Targeting – Food & Drink. Reach users who are reading and consuming content about food and drink.
  • Hyperlocal Mobile – Ability to geofence the grocery store locations as well as competitor locations.
  • Mobile Location Retargeting – Reach users who have been to grocery stores or pharmacies, or specific locations like Target, Kroger, Publix, etc.
  • Run of Network – Expand the plan’s reach while also having the ability to optimize quickly and efficiently.
  • Retargeting – Re-engage users who have already shown an interest in the advertiser.

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