68 Percent of Grocery Shoppers Use a Retailer’s Mobile App While Shopping

Inmar Intelligence | March 5, 2020

Inmar Intelligence, a data-driven technology-enabled services company, released its latest Tech in Retail report, “From AI to VR: Mapping Shoppers’ Preferences for Emerging Retail Technology.”

This report, which highlights findings from a September 2019 online survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, focuses on shopper behaviors and preferred in-store technologies that help them find value, save time and locate the products they want.

There is a clear race in the food retail industry when it comes to implementing technology that bolsters the customer experience. Competition among brands is increasing as retailers invest in a number of strategies to protect and grow their share of the market. But, are retailers adopting the right tech that consumers expect?

For example, Inmar Intelligence found that 68 percent of shoppers use a grocery retailer’s mobile app while shopping. In doing so, 71 percent of shoppers are interested in using the app to help locate desired items within the store and 78 percent are interested in mobile apps that feature available deals and promotions. Once their shopping is complete, 69 percent of shoppers would like to use a retailer’s mobile app to self-scan products and checkout.

“Shoppers embracing technology for grocery is a trend that has been around for some time. In fact, we found that 41 percent of shoppers say they regularly use technology to make grocery shopping easier,” said David Mounts, Chairman and CEO of Inmar Intelligence. “How shoppers utilize mobile and in-store technology to make their experience more convenient is an important part of an informed strategy for food retail. But, before investing in digital transformation, retailers need to make sure they understand what is most important for shoppers when it comes to the in-store customer experience.”

Mobile apps aren’t the only technology offering that shoppers have grown accustomed to in-store. When it comes to digital displays, Inmar Intelligence found that 81 percent of shoppers are interested in in-store directories for more information about products, and 91 percent reported that they’d like to see digital shelf displays show information about sales and promotional offers. Digital displays also play a role in meal planning as 72 percent of shoppers are interested in the potential for digital shelf displays that show recipes and meal planning ideas.

“Using technology to improve the in-store customer experience is not only beneficial for customer loyalty, but it is also an excellent tool for cross-selling and basket building,” said Mounts. “Retailers must be creative in sharing offers with shoppers. Finding the right technology mix is key for driving in-store engagement.”

Additional findings in the report include: 

  • 44 percent of respondents (of which, 41 percent are millennials) use social media channels while shopping in-store for groceries.
  • Facebook is the top social channel utilized in-store with 30 percent of respondents saying they use it for product advice and purchase recommendations, or to look for a recipe. 
  • YouTube is the second most referenced platform in-store with 20 percent of respondents reporting using YouTube for meal ideas, new recipes and to read product reviews.
  • Shoppers report using Instagram and Pinterest in-store for meal ideas, new recipes and product reviews, as well, but less frequently (17 percent and 11 percent, respectively).