The grocery industry is reinventing itself to meet the rapidly changing shopping habits post COVID-19. Grocers are adopting apps and a multi-channel approach to ensure speedy delivery.
Apps play a critical role in a multi-channel approach. The percentage of businesses offering mobile apps grew from 30% to 54% in the past few years. But many of today’s grocery store apps fall short of providing convenience that shoppers seek.
Comprehend Your Shopper’s Needs and The Competition
Businesses launch apps without considering the needs of their shoppers and without focusing to be better than the competition.
Shoppers prioritize – competitive prices, quality products, worthy promotions, easy processes, clean stores, engaging customer service and quick checkout lines. A successful shopping app should meet these demands.
Design your app taking into account client needs and expectations
- Frequency of visits to your app
- Time and days of the week? Large shopping or frequent trips?
- Which departments and deals appeal to them?
- Do they carry shopping lists with them?
- Have they adopted digital wallets, smart-watches, and digital assistants?
- What do they dislike about their experience? What do they want that you don’t offer?
- Why might your shoppers turn to another store and when?
After identifying the above you can then create your app’s core features, the branding, and consider other crucial decisions.
Ensure Ease of App Usage
Trends in the food industry applications are similar to grocery store apps. The below given features will create a better consumer experience by making your app user friendly.
Browse and Search Inventory
To create a good shopping experience shoppers need to find the items they want without too much effort. This is not easy given the range of items available. Accomplish this is by optimizing your app’s browsing structure and search facility.
Smart search must be inculcated to limit the typing input. Also, a consumer should be instantly aware if an item is in stock.
When a shopper selects a product, the app should direct them to a screen that offers a detailed product description including nutritional info if relevant.
Improve your grocery app’s browse features by making it dynamic.
Save and Sync Shopping Lists
One of the most neglected feature in grocery apps is the option to save shopping lists or show frequently purchased items.
Adding sync functionality to the shopping list feature is an innovative way to cater to shopper expectations. You could also sync shopping lists by syncing it with your store’s website and app.
Apps should include ways to check off items while shopping in-store.
Apps may provide product suggestions and allow shoppers to view items they purchase frequently, check availability of products and estimate the total price of items on a shopping list.
Accurate and Intuitive Coupons
Coupon features are confusing in grocery store apps. Provide value with minimal effort to make it effective.
The first step is to organize them in a manner that it is easy for shoppers to locate. Remember coupon filtering, sorting, and searching needs to be easy and intuitive.
A barcode scanner can be included in the App that would automatically explore for relevant coupons.
After shoppers identify the coupons they wish to utilize, they got to select and keep it ready during checkout. Adding the coupons automatically is recommended on selection. Be sure to include the option to add all coupons as opposed to making shoppers select them one at a time.
Coupons should sync instantly with shopper reward cards. Your shoppers should also have the ability to add coupons they find in your store to their app’s shopping list for use during checkout.
Quick Mobile Checkout
Shoppers hate waiting in line at the store. Beyond self-checkout, mobile wallets also help in the checkout process. Some food retailers are considering scan-as-you-go feature, the same can be imbibed here too.
Mobile wallets appealed to 16% of shoppers and scan-as-you-go to 18% in 2019.
Communicating Your Brand Through Visual Design
It makes sense to ensure your app looks and feels just as a brick-and-mortar store.
This is more like conveying to shoppers that they’re not in unfamiliar territory. Starbucks app adopted this branding technique across their website and app. They attempt to enhance the digital experience of customers such that, they perceive themselves sipping a personalized drink in a Starbucks cafe.
If the app for your reputed grocery store looks generic with poor design and a poor digital experience, it diminishes your brand value and erodes customer loyalty.
Understanding Use Cases and Consistency Across Platforms
Grocers need to communicate their brands across Apps and new platforms. Leverage various screen sizes, content and environments, to provide value and consistency whether shoppers are engaging online, on your app, or in-store.
This is how you provide value at crucial moments of a shopper’s multi-channel experience.
Create an user experience that is intuitive and flows seamlessly between platforms. Shoppers should understand the benefits of each platform and easily move among them to accomplish goals.
Removing Barriers of Entry
Many grocery store apps have their features hidden behind sign-ins and logins. Do not resort to putting obstacles in the course of your shoppers. It could confuse and frustrate them. They could lose valuable time and patience.
One way to familiarize shoppers with your app is to build trust with them and encourage them to try out features available before requiring them to register.
Use your on-boarding messages to entice shoppers with valuable features after a sign-up.
Keep the registration process simple, intuitive and easy for those who look to use all features of your app. Make logging in straightforward for users returning after some duration.
Don’t harass shoppers to login. You could leverage biometric login or integrate with popular password apps for easy access.
Go a step ahead and utilize deep linking to funnel shoppers to a specific screen within the app.
Personalizing Your Shopper’s Experience
As consumers grow accustomed to utilizing apps to shop, they expect better interaction with the provider. Shoppers look to go beyond opting for local stores and encashing rewards.
Most grocery app users want to choose the rewards they are entitled to, while 28% want to receive personalized offers.
Personalization makes shoppers feel that their needs are being considered instead of resorting to a one-size-fits-all approach. Grocery store apps should have personalized features so that shoppers perceive they’re choosing an app that is different from the rest, realize their personality and value them.
How could you accomplish this?
- Ensure that the app has the ability to learn shopping patterns and promote products they usually purchase.
- Offer special deals that considers a clients shopping habits.
- Make browsing dynamic and suggest relevant products based on popular choices in the geographic region, seasonal necessities, and repeatedly ordered goods.
- Leverage geo-location to greet customers when they ingress a store and offer relevant deals as they move through the stores.
- Provide 3D store navigation map for shoppers and key locations based on a shopping list.
These strategies would make shopping easier for customers, create loyalty, increasing shopping trips, and enhance purchases.
Successful apps are crafted from extensive research, competitive analysis, branding needs, user experience formulation, testing, and more. Grocers have an opportunity to improve their businesses and solve shoppers tryst with apps.
Having a customer centric approach grocery store apps can reduce pain-points and hindrances to create a joyful shopping experience for customers and deliver optimal value. All it takes is a judicious study to know what strategy, design, development and marketing can coalesce to create an amazing app.
Take up the challenge to create an app that resonates with your clients and surpasses the competition.