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Taking Consumer Tech to the Next Level

Consumers are increasingly using foodservice mobile apps, online grocery stores and other technology, and companies would be wise to take advantage of this key opportunity to engage customers. But key to this is exploring what the ideal consumer experience would look like and innovating retail technology to meet that demand.

Mobile apps have seen a lot of recent growth, with U.S. restaurant visits paid by mobile app increasing 50% over the last year, according to a report by The NPD Group, Digital Evolution of Foodservice. Among the top reasons consumers are using mobile apps and other technologies are so they can order, pay and have their food ready when they arrive, earn rewards and loyalty points, receive specials and coupons, and look up menu items.

But not all consumers are embracing technology when using restaurants. In 2017, two in five visits to restaurants were paid in cash.

As for grocery shoppers, four out of 10 currently shop at more than one online grocery store, while more than 60% of Americans who don’t yet shop online are willing to explore a new grocer when they do, according to a study by RichRelevance. Sixty-two percent of consumers spend less when they shop online, and four in 10 report fewer impulse buys is one of the biggest advantages of shopping online. Amazonattracts twice as many shoppers as traditional supermarkets and big-box retailers, and four times as many as wholesale clubs.

Since online grocery shoppers have not settled on a grocer of choice, digital grocery companies have plenty of space to grow in this still-developing category. Not only do they have a chance to develop customer loyalty from those who already shop for groceries online, but digital grocers can also work on attracting the majority (56%) of Americans who have yet to shop online for any type of grocery. Of those who do, 60% admit they only shop rarely.

For the full story, go to this week’s Food Institute Report.