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Another Grocery Shopping App for the Consumer – Great, But What About the Retailer?

Posted March 26, 2012 by
By Chris Marocchi, Klever Marketing, Inc.
March 26, 2012

 

It’s been interesting to witness the introduction of so many new shopping apps into the grocery industry over the past 6 months. Most are geared toward the consumer, providing shopping list, couponing and integration into loyalty program capabilities. This practice, albeit not highly strategic, allows retailers to incorporate mobile as a promotional vehicle into their marketing strategy at an elementary level. It leverages the store’s existing loyalty program with the consumer, perhaps further endearing the consumer to the store brand, which results in continued shopping in that store. But is this practice reaching the full potential that mobile technology offers retailers in terms of tracking consumer behavior and communicating one-to-one with them?

The adoption of mobile technology among retailers in 2012 is not a surprise. Last year, 67% of retailers surveyed reported seeing the value in consumers using smart phones in their stores (RSR Research, 2011) while 78% of retailers stated that they intended to invest in mobile last year (the e-Tailing Group, Inc., 2011). Similar to the wide spread adoption of private label strategy in the 1990′s, once grocers started reporting that they were launching mobile apps, many others quickly followed suit.

Most of these apps follow a consistent pattern, not unlike the early adopters of private label strategy in the 90′s. They provide a shopping list feature, coupons from in-store circulars, and integration into the grocer’s existing loyalty program. While these features certainly meet some basic needs of the consumer, the benefits fall short of achieving any sort of “wow” factor among consumers, and provide limited benefits for the retailer and product suppliers.

Meanwhile, retailers and product suppliers derive significant value out of having the ability to speak to consumer shoppers once they’re in the store and influence them at the Point-of-Selection┬« (or the decision making zone). 53% of grocery retail executives surveyed last year said they will specifically focus on Web personalization engines, including location-based services and tracking methods unique to shopping habits (NRF and KPMG report, Drug Store News, 2/15/12). Identifying and incorporating features that provide a “wow” factor for consumers, combined with the ability to influence the shopping behavior of consumers in real-time would give a retailer or supplier adopting such a platform a significant competitive advantage. Additionally, having the measuring tools in place to track the effectiveness of offers and the ability to move inventory via mobile communication is really the “holy grail” of leveraging a mobile platform to its greatest potential.

 

Chris Marocchi is the Marketing Director for Klever Marketing, Inc., a mobile solutions provider for the retail grocery industry. You can reach Chris at cmarocchi@klevermarketing.com.

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