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How Not to Annoy Grocery Shoppers via Mobile

Deals are important for mobile grocery messages, but so is personalization

While consumer packaged goods brands spend more of their digital ad dollars on desktop than they do on mobile, many say their mobile spend is increasing. It’s still small, and initiatives are often experimental, but the brands expect the insights gleaned from these small efforts to pay off big time, according to a new eMarketer report, “Brands Go Mobile in the Grocery Aisle: Closing the Loop Between Awareness and Purchase.”

Grocery brands are especially interested in testing mobile efforts as a way to connect with the consumer closer to the point of purchase. Mobile is allowing that connection, giving brands the opportunity to go directly to consumers while they stroll the grocery store aisle.

A September 2013 study by mobile technology company Ninth Decimal (formerly JiWire) found that in-store, grocery shoppers were most receptive to messages that offered discounts: 28% said that receiving a coupon was the biggest influencer of purchases, while 20% said notification of an item on sale would prompt a purchase. Advertising—without any sort of offer—influenced just 15% of shoppers.

Looking at future behavior, an April 2014 study by digital shopper marketing firm Catalina found that 62% of mobile shoppers were extremely or very likely to use digital coupons in the future—twice the percentage of respondents who said they had used more than 31 digitally delivered coupons in the past six months.

Offers aside, there are other aspects of mobile that shoppers find useful. Catapult Marketing’s latest digital shopper research found that consumers increasingly valued the tools mobile offered shoppers for groceries, personal care, and wine and spirits. Augmented reality—the ability to make logos and other facets of packaging interactive—was the most helpful tool, growing from 32% to 53% between 2012 and 2013.

Some mobile tools, however, are considered obstacles. A majority of respondents in Catalina’s survey said mobile apps that slowed down the shopping trip—even if the end result would deliver a discount—were not helpful.

And offers not relevant to the person receiving them can turn off the consumer, damaging the brand’s reputation in the process.

The bottom line is consumers really want value and relevant offers, not just a discount on some random product. And they want those offers to be presented at the time they are ready to use them, because saving time is nearly as important as saving money.

Get more on this topic with the full eMarketer report, “Brands Go Mobile in the Grocery Aisle: Closing the Loop Between Awareness and Purchase.”

This report answers these key questions:

  • How are consumers using smartphones—both preshop and in-store—when shopping for groceries?
  • What experiences do they consider valuable when it comes to grocery shopping?
  • How are brands engaging grocery shoppers via mobile?
  • How important will the brand-retailer relationship be as brands master mobile strategies?

eMarketer releases over 200 analyst reports per year, which are only available to eMarketer corporate subscribers.

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