Mobile apps have, in one way or another, shaped how we live our day-to-day lives. From relying on mobile apps for networking, fitness, and even our health, apps are one of the most defining innovations brought about by the advancement of the digital world. Now, with the acceleration of the adoption of technology in the food retail industry, mobile apps are no longer optional for food retailers but it’s becoming a need.
Gone are the days when apps were just used to enhance customer shopping. Now they are a customer’s reliable and necessary companion when buying groceries whether in-store or online. According to Statista, the American adult users of grocery apps are projected to reach 30.4 million consumers by 2022. As consumers’ path-to-purchase continues to evolve, aside from mobile phones, apps are becoming extensions of consumers’ arms.
How Shoppers Use Grocery Apps
- For the most common part, grocery apps have become ordering devices. In the early days of smartphones, grocery apps were usually used to list grocery items to buy in-store. Now, due to the current pandemic, they are widely used to order groceries and takeout online.
- Another popular way customers are now using grocery apps is for contactless payment and mobile checkout. Even post-pandemic, contactless payment and scan-and-go technology are expected to continue growing in popularity as the convenience and deemed safety of not using a credit card and skipping the checkout lines are a win-win for grocery shoppers.
- Consumers saving dollars through grocery apps have also contributed to their growing popularity. According to a Nielsen survey, 18% of shoppers use mobile coupons when shopping online and 14% of people who shop online take advantage of retailers’ loyalty programs.
- Aside from monetary benefits, shoppers use grocery apps for their personalized touch. Retailers get to customize marketing and product offerings to their customers like discounts, dietary suggestions, and personalized rewards.
Now that everything is just a click away, consumers continue to seek smooth and seamless grocery apps that help meet their need for convenience. This continues to be a challenge for retailers as they work to integrate their mobile apps and in-store operations for an ultimate shopping experience. Food retailers should consider investing in machine learning to better predict and understand their consumers’ wants, needs, and behaviors resulting in personalization – being able to relate to a specific audience effectively. Another way retailers could improve grocery apps and heighten their customer usage is to reinforce loyalty programs to help customers save money most especially in these trying times.
Grocery apps promise to be a part of a bright road ahead for the food retail industry. It is by far one of the most exciting avenues for food retailers to innovate and take advantage of its growth opportunities. Even in a post-pandemic world, grocery apps aren’t going anywhere, and that’s a good thing for the industry and food retailers of all sizes.