Though weekly household visits to the grocery store have declined in the last five years, shopping lists remain vital for consumers planning their store run. More than three-quarters of survey respondents say they make a list when planning their grocery shopping. Could digital lists become the backbone of this experience?

Looking at those survey respondents who make lists, 8% take advantage of list features on a grocery store’s website or app, and 5% use digital tools or services dedicated to grocery lists, such as Out-Of-Milk or Grocery IQ. Even those who have not shopped online in the past year have cited the ability to build a shopping list as one of the top features they would value most from an online grocery retailer.

For grocers, these features can encourage customer loyalty and encourage basket building. The ability to build larger baskets is essential, as the profit margins in the grocery industry are low.

List building is a baseline feature, adopted by 74% of retailers in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Grocery US. However, retailers have yet to adopt sophisticated features within list building, especially compared to cart features offered, which hinders their ability to capitalize on down-funnel opportunities. For example, 92% of grocers allow customers to add products directly from category pages to carts, but only 70% offer this same feature within list building.

This disjointed experience also manifests itself through cross-selling approaches. While 59% of analyzed brands feature cross-sold products on the cart page, only 16% offer it in shopping lists. Across both, even less allow for the ability to add these products to their respective locations. This facilitates a poor experience for shoppers who are using the site as a planning tool. It also conditions shoppers who are new to digital tools to believe that site experiences are only to be used as a path to purchase — as opposed to a journey of seamless basket building and product discovery.

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