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Retail Grocers Go Digital to Embrace Online Grocery Shopping Trend

·5 min read

Retail grocery store

A young couple shopping at grocery store
A young couple shopping at grocery store

T&T Supermarket mobile app

Shopping online using mobile app
Shopping online using mobile app

Toronto, July 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Toronto, ON, July 26, 2022 – With the steep rise in online grocery shopping - due to the COVID-19 pandemic and less people able or willing to shop at physical locations -  more and more grocers are adopting digital marketing as a way to transform the way their customers shop and what they are adding to their grocery carts.

During the height of the pandemic, 20-30% of grocery store businesses in the US shifted online (1). But although many physical stores have returned to business as usual, the trend and preference for online shopping have remained.

In the US, 46.9% of respondents said they plan to buy groceries online in the next 12 months, compared with only 25.8% in 2018 (2). Similarly, in Canada, the surge in online shopping is strong, with more than 1 in 5 people predicting to do even more online grocery shopping (3).

So what is it about online shopping that has consumers and increasing numbers of grocers across North America hooked? It all comes down to the power of convenience, and additional perks, made possible through marketing technology.  In fact, according to Graphical Research, artificial intelligence (AI) - a key trend in digital marketing - is expected to grow in retail market value to over 10 billion by 2027 (4), and grocery delivery is a large part of that pie.

Loblaw Companies Ltd. is a key leader and early adopter of online groceries. In fact, it amplified the online experience in 2019 with its move to offering products not available from its brick-and-mortar stores through a curated marketplace (something Amazon has been mastering since 2000). The marketplace offers shoppers greater access to what they want while getting customers to spend more through online orders (5).

Other Canadian grocers are also riding the trend wave, including Sobeys, Metro and Costco Canada, and profiting from it. Overall, digital grocery sales reached 99.64 billion across Canada in 2021 (6).

Canada’s largest Asian grocery store, T&T Supermarket (acquired by Loblaws Inc. in 2009) took advantage of digital technology to meet customers on their preferred device - mobile phones. They launched their first mobile app in the spring of 2021, with over 10,000 products to choose from, in an effort to use technology to meet the growing demand of consumers seeking convenience and variety in their kitchens. The app helps customers get the latest promotions and sales, plus allows T&T to offer additional payment options such as WeChat Pay and Alipay (7). It also lets customers earn and redeem points, easily access coupons, and much more. (8)

Advances in online marketing are powerful for attracting customers and keeping them engaged and loyal, said Mary Wang, VP of Noah Digital, and English and Chinese digital marketing specialist. “We’ve seen more and more traditional grocery brands (including Asian grocery stores) investing in eCommerce sites and mobile applications to embrace the current and increasing wave of online grocery shopping demand,”  she said.

Wang also commented that online marketing could improve overall customer experiences for grocery stores. “Trending e-commerce features allow for improved customer experiences, which simply cannot be replicated in physical stores. This can include things like saved shopping lists, product suggestions, personalized coupons and the use of mobile apps to deliver notifications such as special offers,” she said. “Just a few of these features can make a big difference to the bottom line for our clients.”

Wang added that other key marketing features include product videos, store maps, product comparison charts, ad retargeting and frequent buyer promotions.

Retail grocery stores that Go Digital have a massive advantage in offering customers enhanced options, experiences, and conveniences not even imagined a few short years ago.  All indicators point out that the online grocery shopping trend is one that will not only stay but evolve and grow even more as time goes on.

For more about how digital marketing and eCommerce can help grocery stores go digital in multicultural markets, please visit Noah Digital at https://www.noahdigital.ca or contact Mary Wang at info@NoahDigital.ca.


About Noah Digital

Noah Digital Marketing provides businesses with omnichannel integrated digital marketing solutions specialized in both English and Chinese markets. From brand and digital marketing strategies to execution, our proven system helps businesses accelerate online growth and build brand awareness by leveraging the power of AI technologies and predictive analytics. We’re a team of digital marketing experts you can count on. 

About T&T Supermarket

T&T Supermarket is Canada’s largest Asian grocery store with 28 stores across Canada, and the soon addition of 29, with its new store in Montreal. T&T Supermarket offers a wide variety of Asian grocery products that customers can order online via website or T&T mobile app. It is the Chinese supermarket where everyone loves to shop!



  1. McKinsey & Company. (2021). MAKING ONLINE GROCERY SHOPPING A WINNING PROPOSITION. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/making-online-grocery-a-winning-proposition

  2. Supermarket News. (2022). SHARE OF U.S. SHOPPERS BUYING GROCERIES ONLINE STABILIZES. Retrieved from https://www.supermarketnews.com/online-retail/share-us-shoppers-buying-groceries-online-stabilizes

  3. Insider Intelligence. (2022). ONLINE GROCERY DELIVERY IS EXPLODING IN CANADA. Retrieved from https://www.insiderintelligence.com/content/delivery-now-essential-channel-canadian-food-service-grocery

  4. Graphical Research. (2021). NORTH AMERICA ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) IN RETAIL MARKET. Retrieved from https://www.graphicalresearch.com/industry-insights/2001/north-america-artificial-intelligence-in-retail-market

  5. Toronto Star. (2019). LOBLAWS TAKES ON AMAZON WITH ‘CURATED’ ONLINE MARKETPLACE. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com/business/2019/11/21/loblaw-launching-online-marketplace-that-will-include-new-brands-and-products.html

  6. Statista. (2021). RETAIL SALES OF SUPERMARKETS AND OTHER GROCERY STORES IN CANADA FROM 2012 TO 2021. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/432696/retail-sales-of-supermarkets-and-other-grocery-stores-in-canada/

  7. Daily Hive. (2021). T&T SUPERMARKET JUST LAUNCHED A BRAND NEW APP ACROSS CANADA. Retrieved from https://dailyhive.com/toronto/tt-supermarket-launch-app-ordering-online-toronto

Surrey Now-Leader. (2021). NEW APP MAKES SHOPPING FOR YOUR FAVOURITE ASIAN GROCERIES EVEN EASIER. Retrieved from https://www.surreynowleader.com/marketplace/new-app-makes-shopping-for-your-favourite-asian-groceries-even-easier/


CONTACT: Mary Wang Noah Digital 905 639 3398 info@noahdigital.ca