Online food and drink sales have skyrocketed in recent years. This means that now, more than ever, shoppers are turning to the web for their foodie fix.
Studies show that 25% of consumers utilise online grocery shopping; by 2024 this will have risen to 70%.
There's increasing competition between online food and drink stores, with the industry slowly becoming over-saturated.
But - on the bright side - there are so many opportunities and strategies to help you grow your business and give potential customers an appetite for what you're selling!
Identify your audience - who do you want to attract?
Gaining insight to the shopping habits of your ideal customer can help you choose what digital strategies to capitalise on.
Studies show that Millennials currently make up 49% of all people who shop at online food and drink stores. According to this same study, Gen X follow closely at 39%, who are followed by Boomers at 25%.
So, depending on what demographic you want to target, it's a good idea to look at group specific online habits. For example, Millennials said they like to shop online because of the fast shipping and product options. While Gen Z said they shop online to check reviews.
Making your food and drink store more favourable to audiences by including fast or free shipping, or adding reviews of your products, can really help boost sales.
For your existing customers, you should monitor what generates the most activity on your website and what products generate the most sales. Ask yourself, why do they generate the most? How can you use this to push other products?
Advertise sales and reward systems
You can push sales and rewards in a number of ways:
When new or existing customers click on your page, adding a pop up with discounts or subscription information can be a really effective way of getting them to stay on your website.
Shopify store, Katepercys, shows a good example of this strategy working for a food and drink business.
In fact, 59% of online consumers search for promo codes before buying anything online. You're helping, both, them and yourself out by doing it through a subscription pop-up.
2. Reward apps
Reward apps are a fun way to make customers want to shop with you, and come back time and time again.
Long term rewards programmes can actually make new customers be as profitable as your longest and most loyal customers.
After all, who wouldn't want rewards for spending?
ShopHub's reward system is just one example of this. The fun stamp card design makes the reward process interactive and keeps customers coming back for more.
This works especially well in food and drink stores, as each card comes with a unique design specified to your business.
3. Advertise sales and discounts
A huge amount of online shoppers wait until products go on sale before they buy them, 63% of consumers to be exact.
This is why it's important to advertise those sales when you're having them! Especially as a food and drink business. If you need stock to sell fast, there is no better way to do this other than a sale.
You can advertise this sale by posting about it on your social media, in your email marketing and - most importantly - by making it clear on your website.
The Ethical Trader is a Shopify store that's a great example of this strategy. By including sale percentages in the corner of the product they advertise the discount in a really cool and professional way.
Show product reviews and accreditations on your Shopify store
In an industry as competitive as the online food and drink one, potential customers have to trust your Shopify store if they're going to buy from it. Consumers aren't going to buy a product if they don't think, or don't know it's any good.
One way of building this trust is through reviews. Product reviews are arguably the most useful way to eliminate any concerns shoppers may have.
In fact, 90% of consumers read online reviews before they buy the products - with 72% of consumers taking action once they've read these reviews.
E-commerce businesses have to convince their shoppers to buy their product through a screen, so showing any accreditations or ratings can really help your Shopify store flourish.
These accreditations are even more important when you're a food and drink business. Having a high food hygiene rating can really make consumers go for your business over others.
Hygiene ratings are such a prominent part of the food and drink industry. So much so that more than a third of business displaying their rating reported positive impacts. These impacts included things such as improved reputation and increased customer confidence.
Look to other food and drink stores on Shopify for inspiration on how to work these accreditations and reviews into your website.
Invest in a fast and affordable delivery process
Customers of online food and drink stores are increasingly expecting things like free and/or fast delivery. For a lot of online consumers, fast and affordable delivery is the reason why they shop online in the first place.
It's been found that 72% of UK consumers shop more if next-day delivery is possible. A shipping platform has also discovered that 6 out of 10 UK shoppers would order more goods from an e-commerce store if they offered free shipping.
This might seem demanding for an independent store, but any efforts that can be made to make the shipping process faster will be better for sales. For example, if your Shopify store offered free delivery to customers within a certain postcode.
Use social media to advertise your brand
Social media is the free tool that any small business can use to boost their brand - but it can be particularly helpful for food and drink stores.
Use outlets, such as Instagram or TikTok, to post photos and videos of your products. You can capture the making process (if this is what you do) or the packaging process - small parts of your business that the website might not show off.
Having a social media account also gives the customer a way to contact you, if they need too. Making your social media more personal will make customers want to interact more as well - It's nice for them to put a face to a name.
And - with around 58% of people using social media, a lot more people might be exposed to your Shopify store!
Now it's up to you!
Hopefully you now have the knowledge you need to expand your Shopify store and reach new customers.
There's no pressure to use any of these strategies, just use what works for you. After all, you know your food and drink business better than anyone.
These digital strategies are only suggestions on how to grow - but they're good to keep in mind!
Looking for something else? Check out more content from ShopHub: