Retailers are seeing a surge in grocery shopping as consumers stock up on food and other essentials because of the COVID-19 outbreak. A similar trend is observed on GlobalData’s Grocery Retail Influencer Platform, where grocery retail related conversations spiked 4X times during March-May 2020 on Twitter in comparison to the previous 90 days, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
An analysis of GlobalData’s Grocery Retail Influencer Platform, which tracks leading industry experts and their discussions pertaining to the emerging trends, insights and overviews, new fields of innovation and technology, and other popular areas on Twitter has revealed ‘health and safety’ as the most discussed theme among the conversations related to grocery retail. The discussions were led by the safety measures adopted by retailers to curb the virus spread, which include: mandatory masks and gloves for employees, high-tech hand washing machines, one-way aisle for customers and temperature checks.
Prashant Saxena, Influencer Expert at GlobalData, says: “Due to COVID-19 crisis, the global grocery market is witnessing high demand from shoppers stocking up on household essentials and long-lasting foods while supermarket operators are trying to speed up orders from suppliers and hiring more workers in stores to refill empty shelves and manage deliveries, but in spite of that many are having trouble in meeting this sudden increase in demand.”
Digital transformation is another theme trending among influencer discussions, largely led by the growing trend of ‘online shopping’. The fear of contracting COVID-19 has forced shoppers to buy groceries online instead of store aisles, which could represent a significant shift in the industry that has been slow to go digital. In addition to this, cashier-less stores by Amazon and 7-Eleven also appeared among discussions as these stores can run without cashiers or check-out lines to ease the supplies of groceries, and can prove useful in preventing the virus spread.
‘Mass hiring’ also emerged among discussion trends as many supermarkets like Tesco, Asda, Aldi, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have gone on a hiring spree for temporary staff to help with an extremely busy time for stores due to the COVID-19 crisis. These jobs were announced for managing their stores, distribution centres and home delivery services.
Saxena concludes: “COVID-19 has changed the consumers’ behavioral pattern of shopping daily groceries where shopping online became the new normal. But, the gains made by online shopping are unlikely to be sustained in less restrictive lockdown with phased re-opening of restaurants and can impact the grocery sales significantly in coming months.