Mobile Draws in Deal-Seeking Grocery Shoppers - eMarketer

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Mobile Draws in Deal-Seeking Grocery Shoppers

Most coupons are still distributed in print, but mobile’s influence is rising

April 22, 2014

Grocers are experiencing the same surge in mobile shopping that has been affecting the entire retail industry. Yet perishables and consumer packaged goods (CPG) provide a different set of challenges and opportunities than other sectors. Supermarket trips tend to be more frequent, most customers aren’t showrooming boxes of cereal, and ecommerce has yet to take a significant bite out of brick-and-mortar sales, according to a new eMarketer report, “Supermarkets and Mobile: Satisfying Grocery Shoppers’ App-etites.”

US Grocery Shoppers Who Download Food or Beverage Apps, 2010-2013 (% of respondents)

Grocery shoppers are downloading supermarket apps with increasing regularity as a way to save both time and money and also to be inspired and informed. A survey from the National Grocers Association and SupermarketGuru showed that in 2013, more than one-third (36.9%) of US grocery shoppers had downloaded a food or beverage app, up more than 235% since 2010.

Likelihood that US Grocery Shoppers Will Use Their Smartphone for Grocery Shopping Next Year, by Activity, Sep 2013 (% of respondents)

The primary motivation for mobile grocery shoppers is to save money. In a September 2013 survey, The Retail Feedback Group found that US shoppers were most likely to use smartphones in 2014 for coupons and to see weekly sales. Grocery lists also ranked highly.

The problem is that coupons are still overwhelmingly distributed in print. According to data from NCH Marketing Services published in February 2014, 91.2% of US CPG coupons in 2013 were found in freestanding inserts (FSIs), while less than 2% were digital. Yet considering how small a share digital had, redemption rates were strong in comparison with print: Internet print-at-home (which can include mobile) was 7.1%, and paperless was 3.1%, vs. 50.8% for FSIs.

Sources Used to Look for Coupons According to US Consumers, 2010 & 2013 (% of respondents)

Circulars and newspapers were still where most US shoppers looked for coupons, according to a March 2014 report by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research, though mobile apps had been on a steady rise during the past four years, while most other formats had declined or remained relatively flat.

Mobile coupons are also becoming more influential. Though the US grocery shoppers surveyed by Acosta Sales & Marketing in fall 2013 cited print sources as having more impact on product decisions than digital, mobile coupons were the only format that had increased substantially since spring of 2012, doubling from 5% to 10%. During that same period, the percentage of US grocery shoppers who said newspaper and magazine coupons often influenced their purchase decisions declined 16%.

Get more on this topic with the full eMarketer report, “Supermarkets and Mobile: Satisfying Grocery Shoppers’ App-etites.”

This report answers these key questions:

  • How do grocery shoppers use mobile for research vs. in-store?
  • Why are shopping lists so important for consumers and marketers?
  • Do proximity marketing and personalization make sense for supermarkets?

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


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