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If you live in Paris, London, New York City, or practically any other major urban center, you’ve probably learned to share the sidewalk, begrudgingly or not, with more and more bikes and scooters shuttling groceries to online shoppers. Stocking up for the week with groceries purchased online – and even pulling together ingredients for a same-day meal – is shifting from pandemic-era necessity to habit. 

The past year has seen explosive growth in the online grocery delivery vertical. According to eMarketer, online grocery sales will surpass $100 billion in 2021, with grocery expected to make up 12.4 percent of all US ecommerce sales. In order to stay competitive, online grocery companies will need to find new ways to stand out in the digital marketplace, and having a scalable solution for custom imagery will be key. 

vegetables top view

Lifestyle photos and videos 

In addition to showcasing product pack shots, on their digital storefronts, grocery stores are becoming purveyors of curated lifestyle experiences, such as in-store cooking classes, yoga sessions, and community events. Specialty grocers have been successful in changing from a traditional brick and mortar layout, to combining more of an online presence in the store. Highlighting featured products, healthstyle trends, recipes, and the like, has increased consumer time in store and share of wallet. Product visuals need to embrace this experience and grocers will need to think more like online retailers.  Showcasing photos that reflect the unique aspects of their physical locations, grocery stores can expand their digital presence and boost their SEO via Google My Business. 

Recipe and seasonal shots

It’s not just about isolated product shots anymore. For online grocers who want their brands to burrow into the daily routines of their customers, it’s about assembling an assortment of products into appealing recipes and seasonal shots. A spread on “pasta night” might include individual shots of macaroni, tomato sauce, arugula, parmesan cheese, etc. – culminating with a completed meal on a tablescape. 

Similarly, some products can be showcased within seasonal themes. Summer grilling season may call for tantalizing shots of shish kabobs that showcase beef, chicken, and fresh vegetables. In the US, Thanksgiving conjures up endless image possibilities that revolve around turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, yes, but the holiday is also an opportunity to feature non-traditional dishes in a seasonal setting. 

Local products 

National chains such as Whole Foods, Picard, and Fresh Direct feature a regular assortment of local products on their websites. Local offerings help them maintain freshness, relevance, and authenticity within a diverse array of communities, but introducing products with more limited availability into the mix can challenge visual consistency. The answer? A global network of photographers, all working from the same guidelines, vetted for speed and quality. 

For more granular tips and ideas on how custom photography enhances your digital grocery strategy, visit our previous post. 

bottles and cork

The OCUS™ solution

OCUS creates best performing images at scale to drive loyalty and growth for brands and their clients across all digital channels. With a network of over 30,000 Image Creators in more than 120 countries, OCUS offers a custom imagery solution that can meet the evolving needs of online grocery companies. An integrated API enables clients to automatically order and receive photos and videos through their back office to scale and produce high volumes of content with ease. For physical store locations, OCUS captures interiors, exteriors, employee and lifestyle shots, and then uploads them to the store’s Google My Business profile, which drives in-store traffic and SEO. 

Contact today, to learn how OCUS can help your business drive engagement and boost sales through high-quality imagery combined with the best tech.