A new study finds that the more active a shopper is with social media, the less likely it is that shopper will use a grocery retailer’s app in a store.
The study, from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Saint Joseph’s University, also finds that shoppers with large grocery expenditures were most active in utilization of grocery apps. The study reveals a need for simplification and customization in grocers’ approaches to customer digital engagement.
“We segmented the users in order to help food retailer’s better tailor marketing of their respective apps,” said Nancy Childs, Ph.D., professor of food marketing and the Gerald E. Peck fellow at Saint Joseph’s University.
The research also suggests potential sales implications.
“We found that customers employing apps are also the heaviest shoppers,” added Childs.
The “Digital Grocery Commerce: Insights for Enhancing Consumer Connection with Grocery Shopping Apps” profiles various types of digital grocery shoppers based on IRI’s DigitaLink digital behavior of grocery shoppers. The research is extended by investigation of consumer use and attitudes toward using grocery shopping apps. The findings provide retailers with a better understanding of how apps can be more strategic parts of their businesses.
“The app is validation for the shopper on his or her terms,” said Childs. “Apps that relate to the customer can offer a valuable return on investment related to shopper loyalty.”
According to findings from the Peck Fellow Year Two research, using the IRI DigitaLink segmentation, there are four major types of primary grocery shoppers using smartphones and aware of apps. These include:
Digital Enthusiasts: These shoppers are confident and active online grocery shoppers. They are young with large households and they embrace technology. Digital Enthusiasts are maturing shoppers looking for convenience and personalization. They are a shopper segment that food retailers should focus on for app usage. As a digitally active segment, they represent the full opportunity for the Future.
Wired for Work: These shoppers are savvy grocery shoppers who actively use their smartphones. As a more affluent group, Wired for Work shoppers could easily embrace a grocery app if it is meaningfully convenient and personalized in a way that balances their interest in price. They are a shopper segment food retailers should focus on for app usage and can be considered a nascent opportunity identified as the Tomorrow segment.
Show Me The Money: These shoppers represent the more traditional grocery value segment and are seeking price. App functions that help them meet this need will appeal to them the most. These shoppers need a price incentive in order to utilize a grocery app and, as a segment, represent Price behavior using grocery shopping apps.
Socializers: While these shoppers are active on social media and may even be engaging with brands on those channels, they are not currently using grocery apps or online shopping. Their social sophistication represents an opportunity for food retailers to connect with them by offering a customized grocery app. They are identified as an Opportunity segment in the study.