- A report from WSL Strategic Retail finds that a quarter of consumers who use digital devices add more products to their baskets, according to Progressive Grocer.
- One-third of digital coupon and click and collect users say they buy more through these services, the report notes. Thirty-nine percent of those who utilize subscription services say they spend more.
- However, only 15% of shoppers utilize click and collect, and just 12% sign up for subscription services.
Digital tools like click and collect, mobile apps and digital coupons are not just compulsory add-ons for retailers. They are integral parts of the store experience that are helping grocers resolve shortcomings in convenience, loyalty and brand visibility.
Retailers ranging from giants Kroger, Whole Foods and Walmart, all the way down to small regional and independent chains have adopted tools that integrate online and in-store shopping and utilize consumers’ ubiquitous smartphones. It all adds up to an easier, more efficient shopping experience, but adoption rates, as the study from WSL Strategic Retail shows, are still low.
Part of the problem is consumers are slow to disrupt long-standing habits. E-commerce comprises around 2% of all grocery sales. While that’s growing quickly, the overwhelming majority of consumers prefer to shop in-store, where they can see and touch the products they’re buying.
Retailers would also like to see more shoppers using their mobile apps, which provide everything from digital coupons to shopping-list builders to product information. But since consumers tend to shop at multiple retailers, many have a hard time becoming attached to these engagement tools. At the same time, retailers need to build apps that are important to consumers. Product information and list-builders are great, but if an app isn’t helping them save money or shop more efficiently, customers won’t bother using it.
Education through advertisements and in-store signage is important. So are enticements, like a percentage off shoppers’ first click-and-collect order. Driving usage is crucial for retailers, especially since consumers are generally pleased with digital tools once they start using them. According to WSL’s report, 80% of shoppers say they are satisfied with these offerings.
Retailers also need to keep improving their digital offerings to get a return on investment. Click and collect is particularly inefficient right now, with labor costs offsetting larger basket purchases and workers disrupting shoppers as they pick products off shelves.