Interactive 3D Product Imagery May Help Online Grocery Experience

As tech-savvy consumers download coupons and compare prices at retail by using their smartphones, there are many other consumers less inclined to use technology while they shop, according to Fusion Marketing.

The company’s ConsumerInsights research indicates that only 21% of consumers download apps from retailers and the majority would prefer not to receive personalized ads tailored to their specific shopping patterns. This same consumer group considers receiving retailer offers through text messaging too invasive on their privacy.

“Our research suggests a limited usage of mobile applications in-store,” says Steven Muro, president of Fusion Marketing. “Technology in the retail grocery industry is in its infancy. Consumers are looking for information on what is available, new and interesting. Saving consumers’ money and time will always be of interest.”

In-store promotions and loyalty programs are traditional sales drivers of the grocery industry. Consumers enjoy receiving quick and easy savings with the swipe of their loyalty card and automatic savings at the register. Eight-five percent of consumers like receiving in-store promotions for grocery items including fresh fruit and vegetables according to Fusion Marketing’s ConsumerInsights, a proprietary research method. Another 54% like receiving non-retailer specific digital coupons because it conveniently saves money without the hassle of paper coupons.

However, when it comes to grocery shopping, current consumers tend to be generally happy with how they purchase groceries and do not see the added value of online food shopping, according to Fusion’s research. It revealed that 96% of consumers do not purchase groceries online. Consumers tend to be uncertain of the food quality and are concerned with receiving a refund for damaged or spoiled products, especially fresh produce.

Conversely, the customer base for online grocery shopping is expected to increase as the Millennial generation comes of age. Young professionals, young mothers and customers with time constraints see the value of saving time with online grocery shopping. Younger shoppers are more likely to use grocery apps that help them decide what to purchase at retail and online.

“Involving the shopper with interactive, 3D game-like product imagery could help the online shopping experience, especially with Millennials,” says Muro. “Retailers should involve the shopper with an interesting visual experience while providing fast, useful product information.”

Retailers should consider offering targeted strategies to reach different consumer groups. It is important to understand customers’ expectations and how they access and view websites and apps. Smartphones lead market share in the mobile device market, but tablets are gaining share. Retailers ought to have a different strategy when trying to reach Millennials as opposed to Boomers, and should revolve their strategy around the technology their target consumer uses. Additionally, the competitive online landscape could change with Amazon’s recent expansion into fresh produce with AmazonFresh.

Guaranteeing product quality, creating consumer engagement, and helping customers understand what apps are available to help with their shopping experience are a few ways in which retailers can be successful with mobile marketing. A mobile marketing strategy will require rethinking many aspects of business as online grocery shopping increases. The demand for increased simplicity, speed and efficiency will rise. Retailers should consider offering something unique to their customer base while emphasizing selection and quality to remain competitive.

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