E-Commerce Site Search and Merchandising

Powering the Grocery Shopping Customer Journey: 3 Ecommerce Strategies Grocers Can't Live Without

By Ian Donnelly


If the last few years has taught the grocery industry anything, it's that e-commerce is no longer the way of the future. An online shopping experience is the best tool that grocery retailers have to survive and thrive in the here and now. 

That’s because e-commerce has quickly become a necessity as grocers adapt to a world changed by COVID-19. The pandemic served as a major catalyst for grocery e-commerce, with a majority of the sector experiencing the equivalent of more than five years of growth in just five months in 2021.

And while the boom of online grocery shopping appears to be reaching a plateau, there’s no going back for online grocery shoppers. Grocery e-commerce is now a $32.7 billion industry, online traffic and average order values (AOV) are rising year over year, and consumers are more likely than ever to shop for groceries online.

All the evidence tells the same story: Grocery businesses no longer have the luxury of viewing e-commerce as an added feature. They need to truly invest in an online shopping journey in order to provide experiences so personalized, they feel like magic.

That’s exactly what Bloomreach offers with a suite of products that drive true personalization and digital commerce growth. Our technology empowers brands to unify their most critical sources of data — product and consumer — and use those insights to power incredible customer journeys that span every digital channel.

But what does this personalized shopping experience look like in practice? How can grocers use these tools to solve their specific needs? 

Here are three of the most important strategies that online grocers can use to offer the above-and-beyond customer journeys that shoppers crave — with examples of how Bloomreach has helped businesses achieve their goals.

Improve Basket Size and Speed With Semantic Search

While in-store grocery shopping often starts with preparing a list and combing the aisles for products, the online shopping experience starts with search. In fact, nearly 42% of online shoppers begin their shopping journey at the search bar.

That’s why it is vital to tailor every customer’s search results to make sure you’re serving them the right products at the right time — which is exactly what Bloomreach Discovery delivers.

When Albertsons realized that half of its e-commerce revenue stemmed from search, the company decided to leverage the Semantic Search function of Bloomreach Discovery to deliver more accurate and optimized results for customers. 

Our powerful product search incorporates natural language processing, advanced attribute extraction, and past visitor behavior to surface the most relevant products for visitors and improve conversions. It’s designed to help shoppers find exactly what they need as simply and quickly as possible, which makes all the difference in digital commerce.

Just by implementing Bloomreach Discovery, Albertsons saw an increase in basket-building speeds by over 25%. With our algorithms powering product search and recommendations, Albertsons canserve better results to customers at a faster pace, enabling higher-value carts and more conversions. 

Albertons used semantic search to increase their basket-building speeds by more than 25%.

Curious about all the ways that Albertsons personalized its customer experience with Bloomreach? Read our case study to learn more. 

Enrich Product Discovery With Store-specific Ranking

One of the biggest challenges for modern grocery businesses is finding a way to balance the universal experience of visiting a website with the localized experience of shopping at a store. 

With products, categories, and even customer preferences that vary by store, state, and region, how can grocery businesses offer a familiar brand experience while keeping the customer journey as local as it needs to be?

That’s where Bloomreach Discovery’s store-specific ranking plays a pivotal role. With merchandising capabilities that allow you to cater to shoppers on a local and hyper-personalized level, you can make sure your customers don’t fall through the cracks of your customer journey. 

Bloomreach Discovery allows Total Wine & More’s merchandisers to carry out different search strategies based on regional markets, including store-specific ranking. The alcohol retailer’s merchandising team can deploy specific strategies based on product (wine, beer, spirits, etc.) and market those products to different regions of the country, which is vital for an industry like grocery where store-specific relevance is inseparable from a customer’s online experience. 

Here’s a clip featuring Vikas Chawla, Total Wine & More’s Senior Vice President of Analytics, Design, and Product Management, speaking with our Chief Strategy Officer Brian Walker about how Bloomreach’s store-specific ranking capabilities have completely changed the company’s merchandising and personalization efforts. 

With our AI-powered Discovery engine, Total Wine & More can serve results that are automatically personalized and reranked based on the most important factors — like the state you live in, the neighborhood you shop in, your income, your specific tastes, and more. 

Interested in learning about all the revenue-driving ways that Bloomreach empowers Total Wine & More? Watch our on-demand webinar for more.

Personalize Email Campaigns to Power Experiences That Covert

When it comes to getting the most out of your marketing efforts, email is king of the marketing channels. No matter the industry or audience, it’s the most lucrative way to reach your customers. 

And in an unsteady economic climate like the one we currently find ourselves in, crafting the best email campaigns is a good recession-proof strategy to double down on.

For the grocery industry, this is especially important in the e-commerce market, where customer loyalty and retention is up for grabs. But getting more clicks, conversions, and revenue isn’t as easy as it sounds. You need to personalize your email campaigns to truly connect with your target audience. 

Why? Because 76% of consumers said that receiving personalized communications was a key factor in prompting their consideration of a brand, and 78% said they were more likely to purchase from companies serving them personalized content. 

And that doesn’t just mean adding a customer’s name to the subject line of your next email blast. For today’s modern shopper, only a tailored email will do — one that knows their relationship with your brand and highlights products, categories, or deals that they’re interested in.

With Bloomreach Engagement, our real-time customer data platform (CDP) combined with intelligent marketing automation, you can easily build an email marketing program with advanced targeting and AI-powered personalization without sacrificing deliverability and ease of use. 

It’s the perfect tool to organize your data under one roof and put it to work with actionable, automated campaigns. Which is why BrewDog, a Bloomreach customer and an award-winning Scottish craft beer company, chose Bloomreach Engagement to help them reach more inboxes, get more clicks, and convert more customers.

BrewDog took a group of 80,000 customers and split it down the middle for an A/B tested email campaign. Half of the audience received a non-personalized version of an email while the other half received an upgraded version that was crafted and optimized using their personalized data. Specifically, the personalized 40,000 customers were split based on: 

  • Web activity

  • Recent purchases

  • BrewDog investor status

Personalized data made all the difference. The customers who received personalized emails clicked through 15.6% more of the time, had a 11.5% higher conversion rate, and generated 13.8% more revenue compared to the 40,000 customers who all received the same non-personalized email. 

BrewDog personalized their email campaigns to boost click through rates, conversion rates, and revenue.

Want to learn more about BrewDog’s personalized email campaigns? Check out our customer success story on the Bloomreach Blog.

Power Your Online Grocery Experience With Bloomreach

For grocery businesses to succeed in today’s online market, personalization needs to be at the heart of your business strategy. 

Streamlining repeat purchases, targeting localized search queries, and optimizing email campaigns are all parts of the same puzzle: a personalized customer experience. And to craft a strategy that revolves around your shopper, you need the right tools to power every touchpoint of their unique journey.

That’s why businesses turn to Bloomreach to create transformative commerce experiences. Our technology empowers brands to deliver personalized experiences across all their digital channels. By combining the power of unified customer and product data with the speed and scale of AI optimization, Bloomreach ensures the right product is put in front of the right customer — every time.

Ready to see what your business can achieve with Bloomreach? Request a demo today and let’s get started.

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Ian Donnelly

Content Marketing Manager at Bloomreach

Ian has years of copywriting and digital marketing experience that he brings to his role as Content Marketing Manager at Bloomreach. With a keen eye for fresh angles and new perspectives, he aims to highlight the endless possibilities available to savvy businesses with cutting-edge digital commerce.

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