Mobile Is Making a Huge Impact in the Grocery Store

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Mobile devices are having an enormous impact on the purchasing decisions that shoppers are making in grocery stores, and that impact is growing rapidly each year. That’s according to a new study conducted by NinthDecimal.

Their CPG 2014 Mobile Audience Insights Report presents results from a study that focused on understanding the extent to which mobile influences consumer’s path-to-purchase behaviors within the Packaged Goods industry. The results are based on data collected from 1,202 randomly selected mobile users who opted into the study.

The report analyzes mobile usage in several key areas. First, it examines how consumers use their mobile devices before they enter a grocery store and while they are in the store. Second, it assesses the role of mobile in coupons and grocery apps. Third, it reviews how well mobile ads influence consumer engagement.

How Consumers Use Mobile in Their Path to Purchase

The report breaks down consumer behavior into three phases: Discovery, Planning, and Shopping. During the discovery phase, 68% of consumers use their mobile device to find brands and products. While 42% research nutritional information, 37% are researching other brand or product information. Although most are reading web pages, 28% are watching product videos.

During the planning phase, 86% of consumers are using their mobile device to prepare for grocery shopping. That includes 69% who are searching for and saving coupons, 59% who are creating shopping lists, and 35% who are browsing recipes.

Finally, 59% of consumers are using their mobile device in the grocery store during the shopping phase. Having effectively planned their trip, 42% are reviewing their shopping list. Others are actively looking for savings, with 37% searching for discounts and promotions, and 27% reviewing competitor pricing.

Clearly, mobile devices have become an indispensable part of the grocery shopping experience. The provide additional convenience while also helping shoppers save money.

Mobile’s Role in Coupons & Apps

According to the survey results, consumers rely heavily on mobile for coupon redemption. A full 69% of shoppers redeemed coupons via their mobile device in 2014. Additionally, 69% prefer mobile over non-mobile methods for redeeming coupons, representing a 31% increase over 2013. Instead of clipping coupons from mailed advertisements, consumers clearly prefer a digital approach.

Also, consumers want it to be even easier to redeem coupons. The survey found that 56% prefer no scanning at checkout and 47% would like to be able to save coupons to their mobile device.

Consumers also appreciate direct marketing, with 38% reporting that they would like to receive a coupon or special offer on their mobile device upon entering a store. This preference supports the future growth of beacon technology and the ability to target shoppers within a specified geographic area.

Regarding grocery shopping apps, 58% of consumers downloaded a grocery app in 2014, representing 16% increase over 2013. These apps are primarily used for editing and saving shopping lists and searching for recipes. The most popular grocery apps are created by retailers (57%). Users of these apps tend to be in urban areas (69%), between the ages of 18 and 33 (56%), and male (57%).

The Impact of Mobile Ads on Grocery Shoppers

One of the most interesting findings of the survey is that mobile ads drove 36% more consumers into grocery stores in 2014 than in 2013. To illustrate how important this statistic is, NinthDecimal compared the boost that mobile ads had on the exposed audience to both the general population and a control group with identical attributes to the exposed audience. They discovered a 96% boost from the general population and a 76% boost from the control group.

These results support the decision by grocery retailers to focus on delivering high-quality ads to consumers through their mobile devices as a tool for increasing in-store traffic.

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