Consumers Want Mobile Tech to Improve Shopping

According to Symphony EYC’s second U.S. holiday shopping survey, consumers prefer to use their mobile phones to make shopping easier, more personalized, and to leverage more control over inventory, but that grocery-based mobile technology is still in its infancy.

Conducted by Vision Critical over a two-week period during the holiday shopping season, the survey asked one thousand U.S. consumers about their shopping habits and the benefits and motivations for incorporating mobile technology into their grocery shopping experience. The results include:

Online Convenience -- Overall, 54 percent of respondents said that no lines and no waiting were the greatest benefits to shopping online for groceries.

Mobile Grocery Drivers -- Of those who did use their mobile phones to buy groceries online, 60 percent said that receiving personalized promotions for their favorite products would make shopping for groceries online easier; while almost 73 percent said they wanted price comparison services available on their mobile phones. An overwhelming 88.5 percent of respondents, however, said they had not yet used their mobile phone to actually buy groceries during the past year.

Influencing Store Inventory -- When asked how they would like to influence the products that are stocked within their preferred grocery retailer, 85.9 percent would like the option to request that a retailer stock a product that they do not currently offer; while 79.8 percent would like to be able to give their opinion on what they like/dislike about products. In fact, almost half said they would consider switching to a new grocery retailer if they could influence the products stocked.

Grocery Delivery Options -- As for grocery pick-up and delivery options, 68.7 percent said they preferred traditional store shopping for groceries with 40.2 percent wanting to order online with home delivery. When asked if they would also like to be able to order their groceries and select the relevant pick-up or delivery service through a mobile app, almost half said, "No."

Privacy/Data Profiling -- When asked how they felt about their grocery retailer knowing their shopping habits and using that information to provide products and services to fit their lifestyle, 62.2 percent responded that it was "OK" as long as their data was safe. Younger shoppers were more likely to want benefits from stores keeping their details while older shoppers were more distrustful.

Social Media – A little over one-third of respondents said that their friends' Facebook likes and comments did not affect their shopping purchases at all, while almost a quarter said that they do not use Facebook. Also, it appears that the influence of Facebook diminishes with age.

"Symphony EYC's second holiday shopping survey has determined that in the United States there is an increasing demand to use online and mobile technologies to improve the grocery shopping experience," said Allan Davies, CMO for Palo Alto, Calif.-based Symphony EYC. "Shoppers want easier, more personalized, and more control over their choices and will make decisions on where they shop based on the level of these services."

Formerly Aldata, Symphony EYC is a global provider of retailing and distribution optimization solutions.

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