Grocery Trends and Your Advertising Recipe for Success

Consumers are hungry for a new type of grocery advertisement.

Advertiser Grocery Shopping List:

  • Eggs

  • Milk

  • Bread

  • Streaming

  • Podcasts

  • Satellite radio

The grocery landscape is changing, and it has been for quite some time. Economic and social shifts have brought in a new wave of consumer habits and preferences, and advertisers need to start adjusting their strategies accordingly.

One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is the fact that grocery shopping and audio go hand-in-hand. Although today’s consumers are engaging with brands in new and exciting ways, audio is still the most powerful avenue to reach them. Here’s your breakdown for an ad campaign that ticks all of your grocery shopper’s needs off the list.

How the Landscape has Changed

Lots of Love for Curbside and Delivery

Pre-pandemic, almost everyone did their grocery shopping in-stores. But ever since COVID struck, we’ve seen a radical shift in deliveries and curbside pickup by way of mobile apps or a retailer’s direct offerings. Make no mistake, when it comes to shopper preferences, an in-store experience still leads the charge, but online options are quickly gaining speed.

To be specific, our Soundboard study found that 42% of respondents shop for groceries online for pickup. And when it comes to deliveries, the same study found that 35% are down for the at-home dropoff.

A Shift in Shopping Habits

Much like the ways in which consumers shop have shifted, the reasons why they go where they go have changed, too. Brand loyalty used to be the driving factor, with shoppers pulling up to their tried-and-true retailers on a whim. Today, that’s not really the case. Our soundboard study found that 78% of SXM Media listeners say that they’d be open to switching to a new grocery retailer if the prices were more competitive

But there’s more to it than just that. Consumers take a lot of factors into consideration when determining where they want to spend their money. No two stores are the same, and grocery shoppers often take time to compare different benefits, prices, offerings, and more before they’re ready to commit to a retailer relationship. 

So, what’s driving their decision-making?

Consumers aren’t just being pickier about where they go—they’re also putting more time into the planning process. Supply chain disruptions have taken the spontaneity out of grocery shopping, and today’s consumers have a longer lead-up to their purchase. Not only are 70% of listeners planning their grocery trips ahead of time, but 83% are making it a multi-retailer experience, visiting three or more stores for their full stock-up.

The Role of Audio Advertising in the New Grocery Shopping World

So, you get it. Grocery shopping isn’t what it once was. And that means that it’s time for a new spin on your (now) old-fashioned advertising recipe. So, what's the secret ingredient that will make this a surefire success? Audio.

Craving Audio, All of the Time

Grocery retailers have traditionally prioritized visual mediums, thinking that this was the most effective channel to reach their target consumers. But the tides are changing, and they’re switching in favor of audio.

A Nielsen Research study found that 79% of audio is consumed in places visual messages can’t reach—think in the car on the way to the store or broadcasted over speakers throughout the home while listeners cook dinner. And our latest Soundboard study found that a whopping 80% of respondents actually tune in via podcasts, satellite radio, or streaming music at some point during their grocery shopping journey. Those potential touch points run the gamut, from pre-purchase prep making lists to in-store or online shopping.

Podcasts for the Win

Let’s just zero in on podcasts for a second. Over 50% of our grocery-shopping listeners tune into podcasts regularly. This long-form, intimate audio channel is widely trusted by consumers—far more than traditional TV commercials or visual ads. In fact, 63% of people find the content created by podcast hosts to be more compelling than scripted advertising. In short, opting out of this media channel means missing out on major moments to connect with grocery shoppers and encourage purchasing. 

Crafting a Must-Have Message

Now that you know what the landscape looks like and where to find your target audience, all that’s left is to craft the perfect advertising message.

Make Your Brand Stand Out

Consumers want to hear what makes your brand unique, so don’t be afraid to shout it from the rooftops (or in this case, into their ears via headphones or speakers). For example, if your big draw is your easy-to-access, centralized location, make it even simpler to get shoppers in your store by using helpful features like store locator capabilities in your audio ads.

You can also stand out by playing on their senses. After all, a big part of the grocery shopping experience is about consumers utilizing their sense of sounds and smell. While you may not be able to waft the scent of a delicious breakfast through their speakers, you can use the theater of the mind to evoke those same sensations by playing sounds of crackling and popping strips of bacon in a pan or of someone downing a delicious iced coffee.

Bacon Sizzling - Studio Resonate
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Drinking Iced Coffee - Studio Resonate
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Give 'em the Goods (Coupons)

Let’s be real: everyone loves a discount. And when it comes to grocery shoppers, nothing gets that wallet out faster than a good deal. Two-thirds of listeners said they’d be interested in buying a product from a store if they heard an ad about it on streaming audio or podcasts.

The types of ads that are the most likely to inspire consumers to whip out their cards? Those that highlight coupons (these motivate 64% of listeners), and those that point to rewards or loyalty perks (these motivate 62% of listeners).

Bottom line: if you have some way for your shoppers to save money, don’t bury the lede. Make these promotional offerings the focal point of your ads to really drive customer engagement and get them champing at the bit to make a purchase.

Create CTAs That Let Them Shop Their Way

As we mentioned, we’re seeing a huge increase in curbside and pickup shopping preferences. If you want to keep up with where these numbers are headed, it’s time to reconsider your advertising CTAs. Don’t just tell your listeners to shop—give them options to support how they want to shop. Use your audio ads to highlight all your offerings, be it BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store), curbside pickup, or direct-to-their-door delivery—that way, they can choose what's right for their next meal.

Tell an Ongoing Story

Audio drives the grocery shopping experience, and speaking to consumers throughout every part their journey is key. If you want to tell a multi-faceted story, consider a series of audio ads that speaks to shoppers at every touchpoint. Develop a creative campaign that keeps your listeners connected to your brand from start to finish; for those at the starting line, serving recipe ideas could inspire what's for dinner.

Next, highlight key ingredients to help them craft their shopping list. Finally, keep the story going with more of your brand's offerings that play on the ingredients or themes highlighted in the previous ads, and give them a CTA to add straight to their carts. There are endless ways to cook up a compelling multi-ad story!

Now that you’ve got all your ingredients in your cart, all that’s left is to find the right media partner to get your ads in the ears of your target listeners.

Let’s chat to see what we can do to maximize your grocery messaging.