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Although the Coronavirus pandemic accelerated the adoption of online grocery shopping for many consumers, not all joined in at the same rates. Hispanic consumers, for example, did not adopt the trend at the same high rates of other ethnic groups. So how does a brand looking to increase their online sales among Hispanic consumers discover the whys behind their reticence to engage in online shopping, and encourage them to partake?

These were the questions facing a leading food and beverage manufacturer. Seeking answers, they approached C+R Research for help. We developed a multistage qualitative research  program to dive deeply into Hispanic consumers' needs and wishes for online grocery shopping, as well as the barriers to overcome. With these insights, we were able to provide our client with recommendations to better encourage Hispanic consumers to shop for groceries online.

Problem

Our client, a food and beverage manufacturer, had discovered through prior research that Hispanic consumers tend to lag in the adoption of online grocery shopping, and that there was a nuanced difference between retailers depending on acculturation level. 

They approached C+R for help in better understanding the reasons behind this lag, specifically:

  • The key barriers Hispanics face in adopting shopping for groceries online ;
  • What would encourage them to shop for groceries online;
  • The role of language and their language preferences while shopping (most relevant for Spanish-preferred Hispanics); and
  • What is missing from the experience of online shopping and how can retailers engage with Hispanic shoppers.
Result

We helped our client to uncover the top barriers as to why Hispanic consumers prefer to shop brick and mortar stores rather than online. We also learned, however, that many are interested in, and open to, using online grocery shopping services in the future. 

Along with these insights, our client also gained several strategies to build trust with Hispanic consumers and encourage them to shop for groceries more via online platforms.

Solution

We developed a multistage qualitative research program to help our client answer their important business questions.

First, we created an online discussion board to delve deeply into Hispanic consumers' grocery shopping preferences. Thirty-six Hispanic consumers completed three days of activities and discussion; eleven were unacculturated, 13 were bicultural, and 12 were acculturated. 

Through these discussion questions and other activities, we learned about Hispanic consumers' store and category preference, their thoughts and emotions around online grocery shopping, and the main barriers to shopping for groceries online.

As part of the online immersion, participants completed a self-guided online shopping mission. They replicated a traditional grocery shopping event but transferred it online. Participants shopped for groceries while capturing and narrating their experience, indicating positives, negatives, and gaps they noticed during the process.

Next, a subset of 12 participants (5 unacculturated and 7 bicultural shoppers) were invited to complete a live online shopping session and interview. These interviews, which lasted 60 minutes, allowed us to dive deeper into participants’ drivers and barriers around online grocery shopping. Via screen sharing, we saw their first-hand experience shopping online and, following a semi-structured conversation guide, we explored the overall experience as well as that of specific categories. 

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