As an industry that interacts with a huge portion of the population, grocery is in a unique position to create personalized experiences for multiple groups. In an era where there are entire Instagram feeds dedicated to photos of delectable foods, and the most popular Pinterest boards are those devoted to recipes, it should come as no surprise that there has been a resurgence of the self-declared home chef. This renaissance has opened up a whole new opportunity for supermarkets to connect with their customers through the use of a similarly surging industry – mobile.
Mobile apps and beacon technology are making it possible for grocers to seamlessly cater to the smartphone-toting grocery store shopper. A whopping 35% of grocer app usage takes place inside the physical store – proof that grocery is getting it right when it comes to providing a frictionless consumer experience. While even some of the largest fashion and lifestyle brands are still struggling to iron out successful app strategies, grocers seem to have struck the perfect balance of both mobile and in-store engagement. What is their secret?
Grocery is Getting It Right
Primarily, grocery retail marketers have perfected looking beyond the limiting notion that their mobile app should function as a mere extension of their Sunday circular. While coupons do provide consumer value while also driving revenue, and beacons should be programmed to trigger CPG advertisements and brand sponsorships within the app, there are many other creative ways that grocers can engage with customers while they’re shopping supermarket aisles. Lunds & Byerly's maximizes in-store app usage by providing meal planning suggestions and community recipe boards. Some grocers are even pairing recipe lists with wayfinding to ingredients.
Additionally, beacons aren’t only used in tandem with personal mobile devices. Placing interactive displays on shopping carts (a.k.a. the "smart cart") is another way to provide consumers with an engaging shopping experience.
And beacon technology doesn’t just benefit the consumer. It also provides a platform for the grocer to test different store displays and signage to see what works best based on dwell time and other granular beacon reporting features that are otherwise unavailable to them.
Millennials Redefining the Industry
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ recent Front of the Line Grocer Report delivered the results of a survey of more than 1,000 shoppers suggests that the millennial generation is redefining the industry, and grocers who adapt are those who are succeeding. Only 1% of the surveyed respondents consider online shopping as a primary way to shop for groceries, which sets the grocery industry apart from other retail segments. This makes a mobile app even more important for grocers, as they need another way to provide their audience with the engagement they crave.
“Grocers can no longer rely on providing a one-size-fits-all customer experience. The next wave of millennial consumers is likely to demand individualized attention and a shopping experience that meets their specific wants and needs,” said Steven Barr, PwC’s U.S. retail and consumer practice leader.