Mapping the Grocery Shopper’s Mobile Path-to-Purchase

In this report we look into who the mobile grocery shopper is and what are they buying via mobile, what is the grocery shopper’s mobile path-to-purchase, and how mobile coupons and ads influence shopper behavior.

Table of Contents

  1. List of charts
  2. Introduction
  3. Who are mobile grocery shoppers?
  4. What’s in the mobile grocery shopper’s basket?
  5. How do grocery buyers use mobile for shopping?
  6. How do grocery shoppers use mobile in their path-to-purchase?
  7. How do mobile coupons impact shopper path-to-purchase?
  8. How do mobile ads impact shopper path-to-purchase?

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List of Charts

  1. US consumer online grocery shoppers by device type
  2. US consumer mobile grocery shoppers by demographic
  3. US grocery shopper mobile shopping methods by demographic
  4. US mobile grocery basket for regular usage food items
  5. US mobile grocery basket for trial usage food items
  6. US mobile grocery basket for stocking up non-food items
  7. US mobile grocery basket for bulk value purchase
  8. US consumer grocery shopping app download trend
  9. US mobile grocery shopping app users by demographic
  10. US consumer most popular types of grocery apps by usage
  11. US consumer most valued grocery app feature
  12. US grocery shopper mobile usage – Awareness Stage
  13. US shoppers’ retailer related mobile activity – Awareness Stage
  14. US grocery shopper mobile usage – Influence Stage
  15. US consumer coupon saving behavior – Influence Stage
  16. US consumer shopping list behavior – Influence Stage
  17. US grocery shopper mobile usage – Conversion Stage
  18. US grocery shopper in-store mobile usage – Conversion Stage
  19. US grocery shopper post purchase mobile usage while in store
  20. US grocery shopper mobile coupon redemption trends
  21. US shopper metrics comparison for mobile coupon users
  22. US consumer mobile coupon attitude and behavior
  23. US mobile coupon user word of mouth behavior post purchase
  24. US consumer mobile coupon improvement demands
  25. US consumer lift in store visit as a result of mobile ads
  26. US consumer products purchased as a result of mobile ads
  27. US consumer mobile ad driven grocery shoppers by category

View all charts in the report

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Introduction

Online grocery shoppers today are more likely to use smartphones (38%) compared to desktops (35%). Young, urban and affluent shoppers drive the growing mobile grocery-shopping trend. The trend is affecting how shoppers buy across all categories including fresh, frozen, and packaged foods, as well as personal care products, household supplies and pet care products. Shoppers looking to buy groceries for regular usage, to try out new products, or for bulk purchases are all likely to use their mobile devices.

Mobile is not only used to purchase a grocery items but also during the entire path-to-purchase. Grocery shoppers use mobile before a store visit to find information on products, store coupons, and make shopping lists. Inside a store they use mobile to review the information before making a final purchase decision. Shoppers also use mobile at the point-of-sale to redeem coupons and loyalty points.

Mobile offers three touch points for retailers and brands to engage with grocery shoppers throughout the path-to-purchase. The first is shopping list, which consumers create using mobile apps or email it to self. Shoppers seek better list making apps that allows them to edit and share it across household members as well as sync across devices.

The second mobile touch point is a mobile coupon that shoppers use throughout the path-to-purchase. Before a store visit it helps them collect information on products related to price. Shoppers also store mobile coupons via apps and email in preparation for a store visit. In the store they redeem coupons as well as go onto share their coupon experience with friends and family both online and offline.

The third mobile touch point where shoppers engage with brands are mobile ads. It helps shoppers before a store visit to discover new products and brands. Mobile ads also motivate shoppers to visit retail store and check out products and promotions. Majority of ad viewers, especially Generation X women, attribute their decision to buy groceries once in the store to viewing a mobile ad.

In this report we look into who the mobile grocery shopper is and what are they buying via mobile, what is the grocery shopper’s mobile path-to-purchase, and how mobile coupons and ads influence shopper behavior.

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Who are mobile grocery shoppers?

Section Summary

Mobile grocery shopping, though limited to less than a fifth of all shoppers, is a growing trend having surpassed desktop grocery shopping. Young, urban and affluent shoppers drive the mobile grocery-shopping trend. Smartphones are the primary device of choice among mobile grocery shoppers ahead of tablets.

Key Data Highlights
  • Just under one in five (19%) shoppers purchased grocery online in 2014 – up from less than one in ten (9%) in 2013.
  • Mobile devices account for more than three in five (65%) online grocery shoppers, with smartphones (38%) ahead of tablets (27%).
  • Mobile grocery shoppers are most likely to be Millennials (41%) followed by Generation X (37%).
  • Mobile grocery shopping is more prominent among urbanites (69%) compared to suburban (23%) and rural (8%) residents.
  • More than three in five (61%) of mobile grocery shoppers are affluent consumers making above $100K a year.
  • Young mobile grocery shoppers drive home delivery of grocery orders – Generation Z (28%) and Millennials (30%).

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Smartphones drive online grocery shopping trend

Nearly one in five (19%) of US shoppers have bought their weekly groceries online at least once using an online grocery shopping or delivery service in the past year. While this figure may seem small, it is an increase from just under one on ten (9%) from 2013 – a strong sign that online shopping for groceries is picking up among early adopters.

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Smartphones are the preferred choice to buy groceries online among US shoppers with nearly two in five (38%) using the mobile device to make a grocery purchase in 2014. Smartphones were closely followed by desktops with more than a third (35%) of online grocery shoppers using their PC to purchase their groceries online. Less than three in ten (27%) US online grocery shoppers used a tablet to purchase tablets.

The higher incidence of using smartphones for grocery purchase is indicative of the fact that shoppers are purchasing their groceries on-the-go and even using the device when inside the store to pay for their weekly haul. Mobile coupons and mobile ads along with apps that help consumers make lists, compare prices, and look up product information make smartphones useful and relevant shopping companion. Next we look into who these mobile grocery shoppers are.

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Mobile grocery shoppers are young, urban and affluent consumers

Overall, more than three in five (65%) online grocery shoppers use a mobile device i.e. a smartphone or a tablet to make their purchase making mobile the dominant digital device for grocery e-commerce. Men are slightly more likely to be mobile grocery shoppers compared to women accounting for just over a half (57%) of all mobile grocery shoppers in the US.

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Millennials (18-33 year olds) are the most likely demographic to use mobile for grocery shopping accounting for more than two in five (41%) mobile grocery shoppers. However, this does not mean older consumers are far behind young millennials in using their mobile devices for grocery shopping. Generation X consumers (34-55 year olds) account for just over a third (37%) of all mobile grocery shoppers.

Most mobile grocery shoppers are also urbanites or city residents (69%) and make more than $100,000 a year (61%). Compared to consumers in suburban areas mobile grocery shopping adds more value in terms of convenience for city dwellers who get more options and better prices. Given mobile grocery shoppers tend to be young, affluent urbanites, next we look into how do they prefer to procure their purchases.

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Millennials and Generation Z drive home delivery of grocery

Mobile using grocery consumers across all age groups prefer to have their mobile orders delivered at their homes compared to picking them up at the store. Millennials (21-34 year old) were the most likely demographic to prefer their mobile grocery orders to be delivered at homes with three in ten (30%) of consumers in the age group having used the service already. In comparison, less than one in five (17%) of millennials have used the click-and-collect method to buy groceries via mobile.

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It’s also encouraging to see that 15-20 year old Generation Z consumers are well ahead of older consumers in using their mobile devices for grocery shopping with more than a quarter (28%) having used it for home delivery and another 14% having used it for click-and-collect. Generation Z consumers are also the most likely demographic to have used subscription services for their grocery shopping with one in five (20%) purchasing their groceries via a subscription service – slightly ahead of millennials (19%). The rise of subscription-based purchases greatly impacts how retailers have traditionally earned revenues but offers them a great channel to stay connected with the consumer and continuously engage them with new products and offers. We will next look into the categories that make up the mobile grocery basket.

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What’s in the mobile grocery shopper’s basket?

Section Summary

Mobile grocery shoppers purchase everything from fresh and frozen food to diapers and pet food using their handheld devices. Surprisingly consumers are more willing to buy fresh vegetables than frozen food. They are also willing to try out new products especially pantry foods like spreads, jams, oil, snacks and dips. Consumers also buy personal care, household supplies, baby care and pet care products in bulk for the convenience of not having to visit stores as well as for a lower price.

Key Data Highlights
  • Consumers using mobile to purchase food for regular usage are most likely to add fresh vegetables (36%) to their basket.
  • Mobile grocery shoppers buy frozen products due to their long shelf lives – dessert (30%), seafood (28%), and vegetables (26%).
  • Consumers using mobile to try out new products are most likely to buy spreads & jams (21%), followed by oil (20%).
  • Mobile grocery shoppers’ experimental basket also includes comfort food such as snacks & chips (18%), and dressings & dips (15%).
  • Consumers using mobile for stocking up are most likely to buy body wash (33%), shampoo/conditioner (31%), and toothpaste (31%).
  • Mobile grocery shoppers’ value driven bulk purchases include baby wipes/diapers (19%), dog food (19%), and cat food (17%).

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The mobile food basket includes both fresh, frozen and more

Mobile grocery buyers are not only comfortable adding their regular weekly purchases to the mobile basket but also take to experimenting with new products.

The products added as part of regular weekly shopping largely exclusively fresh and frozen products. While frozen food dominates the list, the top category purchased is fresh vegetables. More than a third (36%) of mobile grocery shoppers have purchase fresh vegetables for regular usage using their mobile device – ahead of frozen dessert (30%), frozen seafood (28%), and frozen vegetables (26%). More than one in five (21%) mobile shoppers get frozen appetizers as well.

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While consumers are more likely to buy frozen products online due to its longer shelf life, the encouraging figure for fresh vegetables is a good indication that consumers are easing up to buying fresh products as well. This is largely driven by availability of more options and better deals online as well as the trend among urban consumers to buy smaller baskets for consumption within a few days instead of buying in bulk and storing food for the long term. This enables young, affluent urbanites to consume a varying array of meals over the week with no concern of food expiration dates. In fact more than one in ten (14%) purchase fresh baked goods over mobile devices while another 16% purchase fresh fruit – both categories ideal for small baskets and for consumption within the same day or next.

Besides fresh and frozen food to be consumed n a regular basis, mobile shoppers also purchase pantry items such as spreads, jams, oil and snacks that tend to be replaced once the consumer is done with it. Purchase in these categories is driven by intent to trial new products, brands and categories as consumers look to add variety to their palate. Mobile grocery shoppers are most likely to experiment with snacks and jams with more than one in five (21%) having added a product from the category to their mobile basket, followed by oils (20%). Mobile grocery shoppers looking to try new flavors also buy snacks and chips (18%) as well as dressings and dips (15%).

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Mobile purchase of food items for trial purposes is largely driven by featured products on apps as well as coupons and offers that consumers come across on their mobile devices enabling them to discover new products and brands.

Given the diversity of food purchased over mobile, next we look into what non-food items are included in the mobile grocery basket.

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Mobile shoppers buy household supplies in bulk to stock up and save

Compared to food items, mobile shoppers purchase household items in bulk to avoid multiple trips as well as save money.

Among shoppers who buy via mobile to stock up, a third (33%) of them get body wash, followed by shampoo & conditioners (31%) and toothpaste (31%). All three personal care items are used on a daily basis and need to be replaced frequently. Buying in bulk helps reduce the number of store visits just for these essentials. Consumers are also less concerned about the expiry date as the items last a long time enabling them to make a bulk purchase with no worries. The same applies to cosmetics, bought by more than three in ten (31%) mobile grocery shoppers.

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Apart from personal care, mobile grocery shoppers also purchase regularly used household supplies in bulk such as laundry detergent (27%), dish soap (25%) and toilet paper (25%). Similar to personal care, convenience from avoiding multiple store trips drives mobile grocery shoppers to purchase household items via their smartphones and tablets. Household supplies like laundry detergent and dish soap tend to be bulky, so having them delivered to home or ready for pick-up at the store adds to the consumer’s perception of convenience.

Mobile grocery shoppers also purchase non-food items – especially items that last for a long time – in bulk to save on the total cost in the long run. The top product categories that are found in the price conscious bulk buyer’s mobile baskets are related to baby care and pet care. Just less than one in five mobile grocery shoppers purchase baby wipes/diapers (19%), followed by dog food (19%), and cat food (17%). Another 16% also add baby food/formula to their mobile basket.

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Both baby care and pet care products are essentials that consumers prefer to have around the household at all times for the wellbeing of their children and pets. Buying in bulk using a mobile helps them save money.

Bulk purchasing also gives consumers the freedom to focus on taking care of and spending quality time with their child or pet since they aren’t concerned about the necessary supplies to meet daily needs.

Purchasing over mobile and having the items delivered on the same day or within a few days is also a valuable option that comes in handy during emergencies. Given the mobile grocery shopper’s tendency to purchase across categories, next we look into how they use mobile during grocery purchase occasions.

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How do grocery buyers use mobile for shopping?

Section Summary

Mobile grocery shoppers prefer using mobile apps – specifically from retailers compared to those from CPG brands. Young consumers below the age of 34 make up most of the mobile app users. These consumers want their grocery apps to include editable and shareable shopping lists that sync across devices as well as help them look up recipes, scan barcodes and locate stores.

Key Data Highlights
  • Mobile grocery shopping app penetration increased from 43% in 2013 to more than half the smartphone user base (58%) in 2014.
  • By the end of 2015, an estimated 78% of smartphone owners will have downloaded grocery-shopping apps.
  • Mobile grocery shoppers prefer using apps (58%) to the mobile browser (22%) for shopping purposes.
  • Millennials (18-33 year olds) make up for more than half (56%) of grocery shopping app users.
  • Mobile grocery shoppers prefer to download apps from retailers (57%) to those from CPG brands (30%).
  • Consumers most requested feature from grocery shopping app is an editable and shareable shopping list.
  • Consumers also want to use grocery shopping apps to search and review recipes, scan barcodes, and locate nearby stores.

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Mobile grocery shoppers prefer apps to mobile browser

In 2014, the share of smartphone owners who downloaded mobile grocery shopping apps crossed the 50% with nearly three in five (58%) of smartphone owners downloading an app for grocery shopping. The figure is estimated to increase by 20 points and reach 78% by the end of 2015.

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While more three-quarters of all smartphone users have downloaded a grocery app, more than half (58%) of all mobile grocery shoppers have actually used it for their grocery shopping. Slightly more than one in five (22%) of mobile grocery shoppers rely on using the mobile browser for their grocery shopping. One in five mobile grocery shoppers have downloaded an app for their grocery shopping, but are yet to use it.

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It is quite common for mobile consumers to download an app then abandon it even before opening it because the real life circumstances around them change. For instance, consumers might feel because they found a product they were looking for they no longer need the app or seeing a discount that is relevant to them right then and there can make them forget about the app. Retailers, brands and app developers need to look into winning back their lost users by engaging them via mobile messengers and discounts or offers. (See The Mobile App Experience Report for more)

Mobile grocery shoppers who use apps have little difference compared to all mobile grocery shoppers in terms of gender and place of residence. They are slightly more likely to be male (57% vs. 43% for female) and residing in urban areas (69% vs. 23% suburban and 8% rural). In fact the gender and location split for all mobile grocery shoppers and app using grocery shoppers is identical.

However an app using mobile grocery shopper is more likely to be an 18-33 year old young millennial compared to those who use the mobile web for their grocery shopping.

Young people are more likely to use mobile apps, as they are more comfortable with exploring new technology. Compared to the desktop or laptop experience, the mobile app experience provides less information. It isn’t meant for in-depth research of products but can be used to quickly look up a specific information given the consumer is already well-equipped in using the app. Hence it’s no surprise that older consumers, most likely seeking to replicate the desktop or laptop experience on their smartphones and tablets, don’t find apps appealing.

Given the popularity of mobile apps among grocery shoppers, next we look into what kind of apps they prefer to use.

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Retailer apps are the most popular grocery shopping app

Consumers overwhelmingly prefer apps from retailers to CPG brands when it comes to shopping related apps. More than half (57%) of all smartphone-owning consumers have downloaded grocery related shopping apps from grocery retailers. In comparison, only three in ten (30%) of consumers have downloaded grocery related shopping apps from CPG brands.

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Consumer’s preference for retailers apps could be due to the fact that grocery shopping as an event is closely related to the retailer – i.e. shopping at Whole Foods take precedence over shopping for Kraft Mac N Cheese. The weekly trip to a grocery store is a ritual for many consumers, which they relate strongly with the retail brand instead of the brands they purchase.

Consumers are also continuously looking for new products and discounts while in a store. As such they seek tools that can enhance their in-store experience. Retailer apps that focus on providing options and highlighting discounts are perceived as more valuable compared to CPG brand apps that focus only on their products and brands.

Next we look into highly demanded features that retailers and brands can use to engage with consumers.

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Consumers want app features that improve pre-purchase experience

While mobile shopping apps are largely designed to sell products, shoppers also want apps to help them with pre-purchase activities such as making lists, look up information, and locating stores. Consumers demanded the ability to create, share and edit a shopping list above all other features to be included into grocery related shopping apps. A shopping list, while mundane in nature, has helped grocery shoppers with better managing their retail store visits. It makes the trip to the store productive, efficient and prevents consumers from diverting their dollars into unnecessary items.

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Shopping lists are also shared among members of the household. Consumers not only want an app that helps them share the shopping list with others and make edits as they go along but also syncs across devices to ensure a better shopping experience for everyone in the household. Other app features that consumers demand include being able to look up recipes and reviews, scanning barcodes for information of products, prices & offers, finding location of nearest store, and saving frequently purchased items to make future purchase a hassle-free experience. The first three activities are related to pre-purchase where consumers seek to discover their options and make an informed purchase decision. Next we look into the role of mobile in a grocery shopper’s path-to-purchase.

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How do grocery shoppers use mobile in their path-to-purchase?

Section Summary

Grocery shoppers use mobile before a store visit to find information on products and store it via lists or other apps. Inside a store they use mobile to review information before making a final purchase decision.

Key Data Highlights
  • Grocery shoppers use mobile in the awareness stage to look up nutritional information (42%), brand or product information (37%), and watch product videos (28%).
  • Millennials are more likely than all other shoppers to view mobile ads (38%), to visit websites (35%), and to check loyalty programs, coupons, offers (35%) in the awareness stage.
  • Grocery shoppers use mobile in the influence stage to find and save coupons (69%), create shopping lists (59%), and browse recipes (35%).
  • Mobile grocery shoppers save their mobile coupons in emails (24%), apps (20%), and digital grocery cards (15%).
  • Shoppers are more likely to make a shopping list on mobile (59%) compared to pen and paper (31%). Grocery shoppers create shopping lists on mobile note apps (47%), productivity apps (32%), and emails (15%).
  • Grocery shoppers use mobile in store during conversion stage to review shopping lists (42%), search for discounts (37%), and get competitor pricing (27%).
  • Millennial grocery shoppers are likely to use mobile to call friends and family (29%), scan QR codes (28%), and watch product videos (24%) while in-store.
  • Consumers also use mobile inside stores post-purchase to log onto store’s loyalty program (22%), complete a survey (19%), sign up for contests (18%), and share coupon on social media (14%).

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The Awareness Stage

In the awareness stage consumers conduct generic research of the category to discover all possible options available in the market. Their goal is to discover as many options as possible in an effort to lower the risk of an incorrect purchase decision. Consumers don’t want to end up with a product or service their peers would reject or is prone to frequent issues in the future.

Next we will look into what kind of information grocery shoppers look up on their mobile devices and what are the key mobile touch points for retailers to engage grocery shoppers.

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Shoppers use mobile to collect information during Awareness Stage

Awareness is the first stage of a consumer’s path to purchase when their objective is to research and collect information that will educate them on what options are available in the market.

Nearly seven in ten (68%) mobile grocery shoppers use mobile devices during the awareness stage of shopping. Among shoppers who use mobile during this stage, more than two in five (42%) research nutritional information while more than a third (37%) research information on brands and products. More than a quarter (28%) of mobile grocery shoppers also watch product related videos on their mobile devices.

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In the awareness stage consumers seek trustworthy, detailed information above anything else. They also look for information around the category and not just the product. It’s no wonder more of them look for nutritional information over brand or product information when it comes to grocery shopping. Retailers and brands can engage shoppers in this stage by providing information on product and category that is accurate and reliable.

Next we will see what avenues retailers have to engage mobile grocery shoppers in the awareness stage.

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Retailers can engage shoppers via ads, websites and loyalty programs

Consumers looking to collect relevant and helpful information during the awareness stage are open to engagement with retailers if it moves them forward in their path-to-purchase.

Mobile grocery shoppers engage with retailers via ads (27%), website visits (24%), loyalty/discount program (23%), and emails (19%). Ads and loyalty program engagement can happen within the retailer app itself. Millennial grocery shoppers are more likely to engage with retailers on their mobile apps on all four digital touch points.

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With more than a third (25%) of millennials checking the loyalty status for coupons and offers, retailers have a prime opportunity to engage this demographic by offering relevant content through their apps to drive store traffic and eventual purchase. Both websites (35%) and emails (30%) are also key touch points of the awareness stage where millennials come to find information. Retailers should provide up-to-date information on their products and offers to help millennial shoppers.

Next we will see how shoppers manage all the information they gather in preparation for their upcoming grocery store trip.

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The Influence Stage

In the influence stage consumers sift through the information they collected in the awareness stage and make preparations for a store visit. Their goal is to arm themselves with information and tools that will help them in the final purchase decision. The entire universe of factors that can influence a consumer to make a final decision includes friends, family, social networks, online media, TV, movies and many more.

Next we look into how mobile grocery shoppers use their devices to find and save coupons as well as create shopping lists in preparation for a store visit.

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Shoppers use mobile for coupons and list management in Influence Stage

Influence stage is the second stage in the consumer path to purchase where their objective is to make sense of all the information they collected in the awareness stage to move a step closer towards making a purchase decision.

More than four in five (86%) mobile grocery shoppers use their mobile devices during the influence stage. The top three tools that influence their grocery purchase decisions are coupons (69%), shopping lists (59%), and recipes (35%).

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The role of coupons and lists in influencing grocery shoppers is expected because grocery shopping is more likely to be habitual than exploratory. Coupons help them save on the cost while lists make sure the grocery trip is efficient i.e. they get what they need in a short time without being distracted by other products. Recipes are also an important source of influence for shoppers to decide what items make it to the shopping list and what needs to get dropped. It also influences which coupons are relevant and need to be saved while others get discarded.

Next we look into what apps grocery shoppers use to save their coupon on their mobile devices for redemption at point of sale.

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Shoppers use emails and apps to manage mobile coupons

Shoppers looking for information on nutrition, products and recipes during the awareness stage are likely to come across coupons for ingredients they intend to buy. They ideally save coupons on their mobile for redemption.

Nearly seven in ten (69%) mobile grocery shoppers use digital coupons on their mobile devices at the point of sale. Almost a quarter (24%) of mobile grocery shoppers save coupons on their email while one in five (20%) use couponing apps to find and save coupons. Shoppers also save their coupons on retailer issued digital grocery cards (15%) that help them rack up loyalty points and mobile wallets (10%) that provide a seamless integration to mobile payments.

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While just over three in ten (31%) grocery shoppers still use paper coupons the shift to digital has made mobile the primary source of coupons. Retailers who wish to use coupons to reach shoppers on mobile devices need to make their coupons available via a range of tools that include email, apps, loyalty programs and mobile wallets while making sure consumers get the experience across all touch points.

Next we look into what tools shoppers use to manage their shopping list.

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Shoppers prefer using mobile devices to create shopping lists

Shoppers who collect information on products and recipes during awareness stage use a shopping list to distill all information into items they need to follow the recipe or simply restock their shelves.

Nearly three in five (59%) grocery shoppers create their shopping list on a mobile device compared to just over three in ten (31%) that use pen and paper. Only one in ten (10%) grocery shoppers do not create a list before visiting a store. Among shoppers who use mobile to create a shopping list, nearly half (47%) use the built in note app while just over three in ten (32%) just a productivity app. Shoppers also use their email (15%) to create the list before emailing it to themselves.

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List making, while an important ritual before store visits, is largely ignored by retailers and CPG brands alike who focus more on offers and new products on their websites and apps. The majority of shoppers rely on hacks via note apps and list making productivity apps to create their shopping list. Ideally the shopping list would be integrated into a shopping app or mobile wallet with ability to share and update with members of the family.

Next we look into how shoppers use mobile device during a store visit.

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The Conversion Stage

In the conversion stage consumers make the purchase. While this final stage in the consumer’s path to purchase may seem quite straightforward on the surface, it requires consumers to do more than just collect items on a list make the payment. Grocery shoppers are more likely to end up with different items from their list.

Next we look into the top mobile activities when grocery shoppers are inside a store adding items to their basket and find out how moms and millennials drive mobile usage inside a store before and after a purchase.

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Shoppers use mobile in-store to review and finalize purchase decisions

The conversion stage is the final stage in the consumer’s path-to-purchase where the goal is to ensure they are making a purchase decision they won’t regret later. Mobile is used inside the store to revise all activities they have engaged in before the store visit.

Nearly three in five (59%) grocery shoppers use their mobile device inside a store. Among shoppers who use mobile in a store, more than two in five (42%) use it to review their shopping list, while more than a third (37%) use it to search for more promos and discounts quite likely for new items added to the shopping list during the review process. Grocery shoppers also use their mobile devices to get competitor pricing (27%) while shopping inside a store.

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Retailers need to make sure the items, prices and offers displayed on apps match with what is in the store. The biggest factor that drives shoppers away from purchase at this point is a mismatch of information. It also has a negative impact on the level of trust consumers have towards the retailer.

Next we look into how millennials and moms – two power segments among grocery shoppers – use mobile while inside a store.

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Millennials and moms drive in-store mobile usage in Conversion Stage

Mobile use to complete grocery purchase is most prominent among millennials and moms who are more likely than all other consumers to carry a varying range of mobile activities while inside a store.

Millennial grocery shoppers are most likely to use their mobile devices to review the shopping list (56%) followed by checking competitor prices (43%). Moms are most likely to use their mobile devices to search for discounts and promos (67%), followed by checking competitor pricing (54%), and reviewing the shopping list (50%).

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Both millennials and mom are also likely to browse recipes on their mobile devices while inside a store (35% each). Millennials are more likely to call their friends and family about a product (29% vs. 25% for moms), while moms are more likely to look up information on products and brands themselves on their mobile device (39% vs. 29% for millennials). Millennials prefer scanning a QR code (28% vs. 26% for moms) and watching videos (24% vs. 16% for moms) to get product related information.

Next we look into how the two segments use mobile inside a store after completing a purchase.

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Millennials and moms most likely to engage with retailer post-purchase

Grocery shoppers continue to use mobile inside the store after the purchase to check their loyalty points (22%) as well as complete surveys (19%) and signup for contests (18%). They also share coupons they found and used with family and friends over social media (14%).

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As with in-store activities during the conversion stage, moms and millennials are again more likely than the average consumer to engage in mobile activities post purchase. Moms are the most likely consumer group to log onto the store’s loyalty program (36%) after completing the purchase. They do so on their mobile devices while still inside the store. In comparison, more than three in ten (32%) millennials use their mobile devices to log onto the store’s loyalty program post-purchase while still inside a store.

Moms are also most likely to share coupons on social media (33% vs. 29% for millennials), and complete the store’s satisfaction survey (31% vs. 28% for millennials). Millennials are most likely to sign up for a store contest or a game on their mobile devices posts purchase (28% vs. 22% for moms).

Next we look into how mobile coupons influence the grocery shopper’s purchase and word of mouth behavior.

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How do mobile coupons impact shopper path-to-purchase?

Section Summary

Consumers use mobile coupons throughout the path-to-purchase. In awareness stage it helps them collect information on products related to price. In the influence stage they store mobile coupons via apps and email in preparation for a store visit. In the conversion they redeem coupons as well as go onto share their experience with friends and family both online and offline.

Key Data Highlights
  • Mobile coupon redeemers are likely to be women (61%) and Generation X-ers (48%).
  • Shoppers are most likely to use mobile coupons while purchasing food & beverages (71%) followed by household products (53%).
  • Mobile coupon users are 2.75 times more valuable than the average grocery shopper over their lifetime.
  • Mobile coupon users shop twice as often and spend 1.5 times more than the average grocery shopper.
  • Shoppers find mobile coupons relevant during product research (47%) and say it saves them time and effort (37%).
  • Shopper either clip mobile coupons using an app (36%) or email it to self (14%) before a store visit.
  • Shoppers report a positive experience using mobile coupons due to discount (84%) and a hassle free experience (60%).
  • Grocery shoppers who have a positive mobile coupon experience create word of mouth (72%) – both online via social media (62%) and offline in person (43%).
  • Shoppers want a mobile coupon experience that is easy to find (38%), easy to store (47%), and easy to redeem (56%).

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Gen X women lead mobile coupon usage in food, beverage & household products

Mobile coupons are vital tools used by grocery shoppers throughout the mobile path to purchase. Nearly seven in ten (69%) of mobile grocery shoppers have redeemed mobile coupons making mobile the primary couponing tool ahead of paper coupons.

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The majority of mobile coupon redeemers tend to be women accounting for just over three in five (61%) mobile coupon redeemers. Generation X (34-55 year old) consumers are slightly more likely than millennials (18-33 year olds) to redeem mobile coupons at the point of sale. Generation X consumers make just under half (48%) of all mobile coupon redeemers ahead of millennials who account for two in five (40%) of mobile coupon redeemers.

Mobile coupon usage is particularly high when buying food and beverage items with more than seven in ten (71%) coupon users redeeming coupons in this category, followed by household products (53%). Just over three in ten (31%) mobile coupon redeemers used it for personal care items as well.

Next we look compare the spending habits of mobile coupon user with other grocery shoppers.

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Mobile coupon users shop more often and spend more per basket

Mobile coupon users aren’t just bargain hunters looking for deals but are in fact more loyal and valuable shoppers for retailers in the long term.

Mobile coupon users are more than twice (2.75 times) as valuable to retailers as the average grocery shopper over their lifetime. In other words, they stick around longer with the retailer and consequently spend more in the long-term. In comparison, shoppers who don’t use mobile coupons tend to bring in 10% lower sales compared to the average shopper.

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Mobile coupon users are frequent shoppers who spend more per basket making them a valuable segment for retailers to focus on. Mobile coupon users shop twice as often as the average grocery shopper and spend 1.5 times what the average shopper spends per basket. In essence mobile coupon user are power shoppers who should be integrated into a retailer or bands loyalty program. The need to shop often and spend more might lead to their affinity towards mobile coupons as they look to save money on their purchases.

Next we look into the motivations that drive mobile coupon usage during a grocery shopper’s path-to-purchase.

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Mobile coupons add value at all stages in the path-to-purchase

Mobile coupons might seem like simple digital files that people only use in the conversion stage when they reach the point-of-sale. However, shoppers come across mobile coupons at awareness and influence stage when they are researching products and populating their shopping lists as well.

Nearly half (47%) of mobile coupon users come across relevant mobile coupons while looking up information on products in the awareness stage. More than a third (37%) say they find mobile coupons valuable because it saves them time and effort during the research process.

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In the influence stage, shoppers save mobile coupons either with an app that helps them clip it digitally (36%) or they email the coupon to themselves (14%) in preparation for a store visit. In the conversion stage, shoppers aren’t only happy about the monetary savings they make (84%) but are also pleased to find that a hassle-free experience with three in five (60%) saying they find it easy to use mobile coupon while paying in store. A coupon’s intrinsic value goes beyond the lower price and includes customer experience as well.

Next we will see how a positive experience with using mobile coupons can generate online and offline word of mouth for the retailer or brand.

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Mobile coupon users create word of mouth online and offline

Word of mouth is ideally a consequence of a positive brand experience. Mobile coupons can provide a holistic positive experience for customers by not only reducing the price they pay but also by making it easy for them to find and use mobile coupons.

More than seven in ten (72%) mobile coupon users go onto share their experience with others post purchase making mobile coupons a powerful marketing tool to create positive recommendations in addition to driving sales.

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Most mobile coupon users share their experience online compared to online. More than three in five (62%) mobile coupon users who share their experience with others do so online on social media or messenger apps. Having used the coupon to make a purchase via their mobile device, it is natural for consumers to share the experience on social media or messenger apps via mobile as well. More than two in five (43%) mobile coupon users also share their experience with friends and family in person.

Next we look into how brands and retailers can further improve the mobile coupon experience to drive consumer word of mouth.

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Coupon users want better discovery, storage & redemption experience

More than half (56%) of mobile coupon users want a better redemption experience where they are not required to scan their mobile coupons at checkout. Having to fish out one’s smartphone or tablet at the point of sale to scan a mobile coupon could be inconvenient for grocery shoppers who are already preparing to carry grocery bags out the store. It also becomes inconvenient if shoppers have multiple coupons to scan and need to open up different emails or apps. Retailers could allow shoppers to scan their mobile coupons while they are adding products to the basket and apply the final discount to the bill at checkout.

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One of the key ways to help shoppers better manage their mobile coupons is by making it easy for them save it on their mobile devices ideally via an app that makes it easy for them to store and retrieve coupons. Nearly half (47%) of mobile coupon users want a better coupon storing experience, while more than a third (38%) want to receive coupons on their mobile when they enter a store. Retailers can take opportunity of this by integrating a shopping list into their apps that can identify items shoppers intend to purchase and showing relevant coupons that fit their needs.

Next we look into how mobile ads drive store traffic and product purchase.

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How do mobile ads impact shopper path-to-purchase?

Section Summary

While CPG mobile ads are helpful for shoppers in the awareness stage because it enables them to discover new products and brands, mobile ads also serve a purpose in the influence stage where they drive shoppers to the retail store to check out products and promotions. Majority of ad viewers, especially Generation X women, attribute their decision to buy groceries on the mobile ad as well.

Key Data Highlights
  • CPG mobile ads drove a 75% increase in store visits compared to a control population with identical attributes.
  • Mobile ads resulted in a 36% increase in store visits Year-on-Year (2013-2014).
  • Viewing a CPG ad on their mobile devices converted seven in ten (70%) grocery shoppers in to buyers.
  • Mobile ads drive purchase across food (51%), personal care (42%), household supplies (36%), and beverages (30%).
  • Mobile ads influence women more than men across food and beverage (55%), personal care (67%), and household supplies (57%).
  • Generation X shoppers are most likely to buy food and beverage (41%), and persona care products (46%) after viewing a mobile ad.

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Viewing mobile ads can motivate grocery shoppers to visit stores

Mobile ads are primary viewed by shoppers in the awareness stage when they seek to discover as many products and brands as possible around the category they intend to purchase. However, mobile ads not only help in product discovery but also form a bridge between influence and conversion stages because they drive shoppers to visit stores.

In 2014, CPG mobile ads drove a 75% increase in store visits compared to a control population with identical attributes – up from 29% increase in 2013. Overall mobile ads drive a 965 increase in store visits compared to all shoppers.

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While mobile ads are still a ne form of media brands and retailers are experimenting with, shoppers are already strongly influenced by it to visit retail stores and check out the product or brand they just witnessed on the ad. Mobile ads resulted in a 36% increase in store visits Year-on-Year (2013-2014). The ability to view an ad while on their way home from work or during one’s lunch break gives shoppers the flexibility to visit stores the same day they see the ad.

Next we look into how mobile ad driven traffic convert into purchase.

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Mobile ads drive purchase for food and personal care products

Mobile ads are also turning out to be effective in converting store traffic into purchases. Seven in ten (70%) grocery shoppers who viewed a CPG ad on their mobile devices went on to eventually purchase the product. This calls for retailers and CPG brands to provide relevant mobile ads to consumers that are not only targeted based on their previous purchase behavior but also based on their location. Being able to stream a relevant ad when shoppers are near a retail location could make the difference between an ignored ad and one that drives shoppers to purchase.

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Mobile ads are most effective in driving purchase in the food category with more than half (51%) of shoppers who viewed a food related ad purchasing the product. Mobile ad conversion rates are impressive for personal care (42%), household supplies (36%), and beverages (30%) as well. Consumers regularly shop all four categories. Mobile ads can add value by helping discovery of new options and making shoppers aware of promotion.

Next we look into which demographic is most likely to view mobile ads and purchase items across major grocery categories.

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Mobile ads influence Generation X women shoppers the most

As a new form of media, mobile ads are largely assumed to influence young, male shoppers. However, the reality is that older female shoppers belong to Generation X (34-55 year olds) are the ones most likely to make a purchase after viewing a mobile ad.

Women shoppers are more likely than men to be influenced by mobile ads across key grocery categories including food and beverage (55% vs. 45% for men), personal care (67% vs. 33% for men), and household supplies (57% vs. 43% for men).

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Generation X (34-55 year old) shoppers lead in mobile ad conversion for food and beverage (41% vs. 38% for millennials), and persona care products (46% vs. 29% for millennials). Millennials are slightly more likely to purchase household supplies after viewing a mobile ad (37% vs. 36% for Generation X).

The grater likelihood of Generation X shoppers being influenced by mobile ads is likely due to the fact that purchasing grocery items in a household is primarily the duty of older members. As such Generation X shoppers are more likely to find CPG ads relevant and useful to act on.