Digital Coupons, Rewards Top Grocery Shoppers’ Lists

February 12, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

We’ve already seen that mobile devices can mean great things in the grocery store. The potential to completely un-jam checkout lanes, easy price checks, never wondering where anything is ever again or if there’s “more in the back” and so on. Customers, however, want more out of their grocery experience, and it’s a great chance for mobile to step up and deliver, as recently revealed by the PYMNTS Omni Usage Index study.

The study found that large stores, so far, only have a 30.2—out of a possible 100—in terms of satisfaction with consumer omnichannel features. The good news is that this point is not in fact lost on the stores, who are working accordingly.

For instance, the study found that 72 percent of consumers consider digital coupons an important feature for grocers, a point being increasingly adopted in stores like Fareway and even Target. Sixty-two percent consider rewards programs likewise vital, and stores are stepping up here too.

It’s not just the mobile that’s got customers wanting more; 34 percent want in-store pickup, allowing them to shop remotely and then have the goods waiting in cold storage later. Forty-one percent want free shipping to their house for dry goods and fresh foods alike, for delivery within two days. Perhaps least surprisingly to us, 37 percent want the mobile app sufficiently bolstered to offer more, much like Food Lion has recently started doing.

The mobile app can be the nexus point of many of these new features; we’ve got smartphones with cameras that can readily be used as bar code readers. Many shoppers already enjoy the ability to select certain discounts online and allow these to contribute to a larger loyalty program. It’s not enough to stop here, however, especially with all the new benefits that are available that customers want in on. Yet at the same time, stores have to exercise some caution in expansion plans; plenty of older shoppers aren’t particularly interested in change in any form, so the old-fashioned “walk through the store and gather your groceries” model has to remain in place.

There’s a lot of room to expand, though, and smart stores are already doing this. Mobile payments, and mobile technology, will likely be a major part of this expansion going forward.