Insights Preview: Today's Shoppers Demand Repeat Shopping Automation
Updated: Apr 14
With nearly two-thirds of shoppers buying some of their groceries online 1, delivering elevated digital experiences has transitioned from a form of competitive differentiation to “table stakes” for retailers and brands today. Implementing a full-basket auto-replenishment solution is one such way to deliver against heightened shopper expectations. Today’s shoppers want the ability to streamline repeat purchases, when they order online. They want to save time, save money, stay in-stock, and solve for a wide range of household needs, including food. Here’s how we know... In October, with the help of Kantar Marketplace, Replenium surveyed 2,307 U.S.-based Amazon Prime shoppers about their appetite for repeat shopping automation. The preface read: We are conducting research to understand more about how shoppers buy things online—specifically, for items bought regularly. Repeat shopping automation is the practice of signing up to have product(s) you buy regularly automatically included in your online shopping cart and delivered at a frequency you choose. First and foremost, we found that a significant cohort of shoppers are already using this capability to purchase products they need regularly. 1 in 4 have done so, in the past 6 months, across a variety of outlets. Among this group of shoppers, 68% used Amazon’s Subscribe and Save and 37% used Chewy specifically. These shoppers desire a wider variety of products than what is offered by a traditional, category-focused subscription model. More than half have used repeat shopping automation for Personal Care and Pet, while about one-third have used for Home Care and Non-perishable Food. There is also appetite to utilize this technology for Perishable Food, with 23% of past-6-month-users indicating they had done so.
When asked about ideal online experiences for automating repeat purchases, a few key themes emerged. Among them were: flexibility, value, availability, and convenience.
Not all benefits are of equal importance overall though. When asked what shoppers liked about services that automate repeat shopping of food and everyday, household items, offering delivery and saving time popped to the top of the list, with about half of shoppers indicating so. Other top responses involved receiving discounts and staying in-stock on most frequently used items.
Not only does offering this capability give retailers and brands line of sight to future demand for near-term gains, but it also proves to be influential to shoppers’ perceptions of their overall experience. Two-thirds of shoppers, who have used the capability in the past 6 months, claimed it is ‘Impactful’ or ‘Extremely Impactful’ to their loyalty.
Shopper intention is clear; demand for automating repeat purchases among a wide range of categories and retailers is already upon us. The everyday household and grocery brands and retailers who solve for this need first have an opportunity to secure considerable annuity spend and delight their customers, all the while gaining operational efficiency from increased visibility to demand.
Your shoppers are ready. If you have an existing ecommerce platform, you can be up and running with an auto-replenishment program in 60 days. Reach out to Replenium today, and stay tuned for a release of additional findings – including spend propensity. Sign-up here if you would like the full report emailed to you in late Q1!
Sources: 1- U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2021; 2- October 2021 Shopper Research Survey via Kantar Marketplace, N=2,307 Amazon Prime shoppers
Kate Walker is Replenium's Director of Insights. With an extensive background in retail consulting and analytics, Kate delivers strategic ecommerce consultation, as well as data-backed market intelligence on auto-replenishment to the retail and CPG industries.