One of the most unifying needs for us all is – food. We all have to eat, but have you ever paid much thought into where your food comes from, or why you shop where you do?
Some of us are creatures of convenience or habit, while others scrupulously look for gourmet options. A study from FMI’s the Retail Experience of the Future reveals that the grocery shopping demographic consists of 25 percent of the population who are seeking routine, 26 percent craving convenience, and 33 percent who mainly focus on the quality of food. While, the remaining 17 percent of the population is made up of Millennials who rarely shop and when they do, it’s usually only for themselves.
Aside from needing to refuel, why do we go to one store over another? What gets us to the store? Research from the same FMI study found that 68 percent of the respondents went to a store because it was close to home, 44 percent wanted the fresh produce, 67 percent were compelled by the competitive prices, while 30 percent went for specialty products.
The Average Grocery Shopper Has Diversified Their Requirements when Choosing a Retailer
It’s no longer about one need – the food. This need has developed to have to include experiences and services while shopping for foodstuffs, in which FMI concluded that the in-store experience brought 52 percent of the participants back to the same store. Knowing this, it is crucial for retailers to understand how to best implement an experience-based approach to food marketing. That’s where technology comes in.
With retailers being less and less complacent with the “average” shopping experience, we see an increased need for tailored experiences and relevant loyalty programs. Technology can help provide valuable insights into the types of experiences shoppers would like to have in stores, and even predict their needs. A grocery sentiment analysis study conducted by SAP for Retail found that there was a 62 percent positive sentiment towards grocery apps and technology and that in 2014, most shoppers will use their mobile devices to make grocery lists or schedule a delivery. Shoppers’ interest in online coupons rose from 15 to 47 percent from 2010 to 2012; suggesting that as consumers, our grocery experience has left the confines of brick and mortar establishments.
Imagine the possibilities mobility can have on this industry. Not only can we help make shoppers’ lives more efficient we can also help them to live healthier lives. The same sentiment study found that most shoppers are willing to pay more for healthier products like organic and non-gmo foods. In fact, 44 percent of the sentiment for social services was surrounding “health tribes,” like vegetarians or high protein diets that are low in fat.
The study also found that 18 percent of mentions surrounding healthy food shopping mentioned cost and budget, and that healthy food is “too expensive.” Using consumer data from loyalty programs, we can help them save money through online coupons as well as provide healthier tailored product recommendations based on the goods that are relevant to their tastes and needs.
The industry is in a unique and vulnerable spot where mobile technology can really shake up the existing sentiment surrounding grocery marketing. The technology in the grocery industry can and should provide efficiency, health, and cost effectiveness to consumers and smarter marketing to retailers.