Progressive Grocer

FEB 2017

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98 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | February 2017 Technology Grocery Apps S hoppers can load onto their smartphones a wide variety of popular third-party gro- cery apps to help them save time and money. Meanwhile, grocers themselves also offer shoppers store apps, which should be the corner- stone of their mobile strategies. e overall idea is to create loyalty to the store as well as helping shoppers save time and money. How successful have grocers' apps been? "I say most shoppers have not downloaded their grocer's app to their mobile device," asserts Barry Stone, director of marketing for New York-based Digital Social Retail. "ere are very few grocers, if any, who have an app with more than 5 percent shopper adoption," notes Mike Grimes, chief revenue officer of Mobee, a Boston-based provider of real-time crowdsourced data and insights for retailers and brands. "Why? Because grocery shoppers won't use an app unless they have a real compelling reason to do so." David Shukri, of Mindtree, agrees, saying, "An- ecdotally, I believe penetration of such apps remains relatively low." e "retail champion" at the Warren, N.J.-based IT services and consulting firm believes that one reason is shopper behavior. App Quest "For many people around the world, loyalty to a specific grocery retailer has never been lower," he explains. "Many factors con- tribute to this modern reality. ey include the development of the convenience sector, the wealth of price information available at our fingertips, and the disaggregation of the food retail chain, meaning there are now many alternatives available should you prefer never to set foot in a supermarket if you choose not to. erefore, what would be the upside to engaging with a specific retailer's app? You might need three or four of them to cover the majority of your grocery spend satisfactorily." Promoting Value A recent survey by 3Cinteractive validates that point. Research by the Boca Raton, Fla.-based provider of mobile marketing services found that more than half of customers polled (56 percent) said they use only one, or maybe two, grocer apps on a regular basis, despite most saying they downloaded as many as four apps to their smartphones. is signals a need for grocers to move beyond a pure app strategy and develop new mobile tac- tics designed to maximize engagement. Grocers would be wise to leverage an SMS strategy to keep reaching Success has been spotty, but progress is being made. By John Karolefski

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