- Hershey CEO Michele Buck said the company is looking for ways to recreate "impulse purchases" for digital shopping, The Wall Street Journal reports.
- Buck cited company research showing 56% of shoppers buy snacks while checking out. A trend toward online shopping — and away from checkout lines — represents a threat to the company's sales volumes.
- Hershey is not standing still amid the trend. In August, it unveiled its "5C" digital strategy to bolster digital sales. Key to the growth: smartphone apps, designed to facilitate impulse buys beyond checkout lines.
Hershey’s display at the checkout counter, along with bags of chips, gum, tabloids and lottery tickets, are not there by accident. And it is no wonder companies are worried about fewer customers standing in line at the checkout. The layout and placement of products in the supermarket are scientifically calculated to get you to buy.
If food shopping is transitioning online, not only will checkout-candy sales fall short, but those bags of cheese puffs in aisle seven, or the cupcakes in the bakery, may go begging as well.
Digital grocery shopping is an avenue to reduce impulse shopping, control spending, select healthier alternatives, and buy only what one needs. It is quick and convenient. It is also an opportunity to comply with dietary restrictions and financial pressures. But fear not, companies will find a way to modify their marketing message to sell to digital shoppers for all kinds of impulse purchases.
Impulse shopping is driven by immediate gratification. Tearing into that bag of chocolate kisses or chips as your car is heading out of the parking lot is one’s personal reward for shopping. And yes, food marketers know that.
But what is the reward for point and click shopping? Perhaps a shortened fulfillment cycle where groceries, including impulse purchases, are delivered so quickly that the treat is still on the consumer’s mind. Next day might not work, but next hour? It just might make anticipation even stronger.
The supply chain might just provide the sweetest solution.