Grocers Turning to Apps to Connect with Customers

Supermarkets have long used traditional print circulars to reach their shoppers. But, these circulars can be inefficient in terms of reach and expensive to produce. The increasing number of smartphone users and their willingness to download apps  are 2 factors that are contributing to a change in CPGshoppersupermarket advertising according to a release from the 2013 Shopper Marketing Expo.

New research indicates that up to 20% of shoppers have already downloaded a grocery store app. On average, these shoppers are turning to these apps about twice a month. App users possess attractive demographics for supermarkets:

  • Between the ages of 24 and 44
  • Have 1–3 children in the home
  • Have higher than average income

These shoppers are looking for specific features in their grocery store apps and it’s all about saving money. 80% want coupons and 57% want specials. Shoppers also note that they enjoy the fun factor in the apps.

But, supermarkets can do more to improve the app experience and strengthen shopper loyalty. One big issue for shoppers is speed. These apps are too slow for 48% of survey respondents and too time-​consuming for 29%.  24% also don’t think there is enough benefit in the apps. Stores can improve their image by offering “more rewards, automatic coupon loading, more personalized offers and a price comparison tool.”

Apps will be just one tool that grocers use in reaching out to shoppers but it may become more important as consumers rely on their smartphones as tools for everything from product reviews, to pricing, to learning about the health benefits of the item they are thinking about buying. Grocers who can get the app tool to work to shopper satisfaction stand a better chance of increasing sales.

Have you worked with any grocery store clients who have rolled out an app?

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.