Mobile devices playing a larger role in compiling grocery shopping lists
More grocery shoppers than ever before are using mobile devices to supplement — or in some cases take over — their shopping, with one Deloitte study finding more than half of all grocery sales today are digitally influenced.
As such, grocers of all sizes are investing large amounts of time and money in their digital products to attract or retain customers who are increasingly willing to shop at multiple stores to suit their budgets.
More than 18 million Americans have grocery apps on their smartphones, a figure that is expected to nearly double over the next five years, according to research from eMarketer. And about 18 percent of those consumers use apps to buy groceries at least once a month, a trend that is also expected to accelerate.
In essence, grocers need to capture customers before they even walk out of their front door to get to the store.
“If the shopper is ordering from their regular grocery store, familiarity helps with trust that the products will be the quality they expect,” eMarketer senior analyst Patricia Orsini said in a study she spearheaded focused on grocery-app usage. “A bad experience, however, could turn consumers off for good, so retailers need to ensure they provide a good experience from Day One.”
Not surprisingly, younger generations that are more likely to use online tools to make the most of their shopping trips are driving the trend.
“People just aren’t the planners they used to be,” said Josh Hogan, managing director of digital for World Wide Technology, which has helped develop apps for retailers including Papa John’s and Panera.
“The conventional days of putting lists together and doing the weekly shopping are changing,” Hogan said. “People are really going to the store two to three times a week now to figure out what is for dinner that night. So phase one is how can we reward them for coming to our store. And phase two really gets into how can we make a more fresh and frictionless experience.”
Andrew Chisholm takes bags full of fresh food ordered by Jet.com customers out of his Parcel van for delivery in New York this month. About 18 percent of consumers with grocery apps use them once a month to buy food.