Mobile Moves in on Grocery Shopping

More consumers are using their phones in the course of their grocery shopping.

And that phone usage is happening to research and select products, check prices and get coupons along the way, based on a new study.

Cashing in those coupons also is more likely to be via mobile, with more than half (69%) of consumers saving coupons on mobile rather than printing them, according to NinthDecimal Mobile Audience Insight Report.

The study aimed at researching how mobile impacts the consumer’s path to purchase within the consumer packaged goods industry. It comprised a survey of 1,200 mobile users who opted in to answer questions.

The involvement of mobile is all along the way, with more than half (59%) using their mobile device for their shopping lists.

More than half (57%) of survey respondents were male and 43% female.



The majority (68%) of consumers use their mobile devices to discover products in the following ways:

  • 42% -- Research nutritional info
  • 37% -- Research brand/product info
  • 28% -- Watch product videos

The study found that most (86%) consumers use their mobile devices for getting  ready for their shopping trip in the following ways:

  • 69% -- Find/save coupons
  • 59% -- Create shopping lists
  • 35% -- Browse recipes

During the actual shopping trip, more than half (59%) of consumers use their mobile device while shopping, an increase of 16% from a year ago, according to the study. This is what they do while they shop:

  • 42% -- Review shopping lists
  • 37% -- Search for product discounts
  • 27% -- Get competitor pricing

The number of shoppers using mobile for grocery seemed a bit high compared to other research, but company president David Staas suggested that it may be due to the opt-in nature of the survey respondents as well as them being a bit more mobile savvy than the entire marketplace.

However, as a potential indicator of a trend, the increases in mobile usage from a year ago are relatively large across the board.

So while this may involve some consumers a little more mobile active than others, it can be an indication of what’s ahead for the grocery-shopping masses.


Want more beacon info? Check out the coming MediaPost IoT: Beacons conference agenda for Chicago Feb. 10.

16 comments about "Mobile Moves in on Grocery Shopping".
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  1. Darrell Ellens from Linkedin Group Mgr. "Daily Deal Industry" , January 22, 2015 at 2:20 p.m.

    I never realized so many people used grocery lists on the phone.

    Mobile shopping is growing extremely fast. The phone is also used for getting cashback as well. Cashback is also growing very fast.

    Checkout 51 and Snap by Groupon are two that we use all the time when it comes to groceries.

    We are an extreme couponing, digital couponing, daily deal using, cashback collecting money saving family.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, January 22, 2015 at 2:28 p.m.

    Right Darrell, and receipt-scanning, as in the apps you mentioned, is on the rise as well.

  3. Brian Kelly from brian brands, January 22, 2015 at 2:54 p.m.

    Chuck, I heard Safeway has a robust beacon pilot in market. Being in Midwest, I'd love to hear what's up with their use.

  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, January 22, 2015 at 5:56 p.m.

    You may want to check out Marsh, just launched beacons in all stores, if one near you.

  5. Devika Girish from MobStac, January 23, 2015 at 12:48 a.m.

    Great post Chuck. According to recent reports by Flurry, mobile reported to have surpassed not only the PC but also TV as the top “attention medium”. Therefore it comes as no surprise that mobile is moving in on grocery shopping as well. In fact this all the more drives in the fact that the decision made by brands to adopt beacons in the holiday season of 2014 was definitely in the right direction. In fact, proximity marketing is one of the best ways to cater to contextual information needs of your consumers. However, many retailers still aren’t sure about where to begin or the kind of campaigns they can implement with beacons. We’ve discussed a few proximity marketing campaign success secrets that will help retailers ace their next proximity campaign here:

  6. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, January 23, 2015 at 10:43 a.m.

    Thanks Devika, mobile gaining traction in all categories of shopping, though grocery lags some others by a bit.

  7. Darrell Ellens from Linkedin Group Mgr. "Daily Deal Industry" , January 23, 2015 at 11:31 a.m.

    Hi Chuck and Brian, I think the bacons will do great this year. I can see people having a personalized mobile shopper app to help them make dicisions other than reviews and friends. Almost like a robot that understands your likes and dislikes.

  8. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, January 23, 2015 at 11:41 a.m.

    That is exactly where the market is heading, Darrell, as long as marketers are careful in how they interact, especially in terms of volume.

  9. Rod Averbuch from, January 23, 2015 at 12:12 p.m.

    Mobile Apps help to attract loyal customers through relevant, environmentally friendly and personalized fresh food deals. Food waste is a lose-lose situation for the environment, the struggling families in today’s tough economy and for the food retailers.

    The new open GS1 DataBar standard enables new food waste reduction mobile applications that offer relevant, environmentally friendly and personalized fresh food deals.

    The “End Grocery Waste” App, which is based on the open GS1 DataBar standard, encourages efficient consumer shopping behavior that maximizes grocery retailer revenue, makes fresh food affordable for all families and effectively reduces the global carbon footprint.

  10. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, January 23, 2015 at 2:07 p.m.

    Thanks for adding that info Rod.

  11. Chris Hedick from Consultant, January 23, 2015 at 2:18 p.m.

    As someone who hates grocery shopping because the layout of the stores makes very little sense (canned soup is in aisle 2 but canned chili is in aisle 6) I wanted to create an app that maps out where items are in store. So, you take your shopping list and input it into the app and select your store and it will tell you where the items are and even the most efficient route through the store to save time. Does anything like that exist?

  12. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, January 23, 2015 at 2:30 p.m.

    Yes, Chris, the Marsh supermarkets chain just launched a beacon-triggered app program that will include lists and product locations based on past shopping patterns and shipping list, along with relevant coupons.

  13. Linda Powers from Couponers Express, January 26, 2015 at 1:32 p.m.

    Hi Chuck

    I am surprised by that mobile coupon number as I wasn't aware POS scanners could read coupons on mobile unless they were optical. Am I mistaken?

  14. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, January 26, 2015 at 1:52 p.m.

    Even if the coupon can't be read by a particular scanner, which you correctly point out Linda that is often the case, the numbers or letters from the coupon code on a phone screen can be entered into the retailer's POS system.

  15. Jeremy Geiger from Retailigence, January 31, 2015 at 5:55 p.m.

    Chuck: Did the report discuss about where in the customer journey this is taking place? Reading between the lines, it looks like this is about an in-store retailer-centric scenario, as opposed to a pre-store brand/product-centric shopping mission scenario.

  16. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, January 31, 2015 at 8:07 p.m.

    The study was focused specifically on CPG, Jeremy, and looked at in-store behaviors in that regard and was fielded July to September. It included three separate categories it termed discovery, planning and shopping, Hope that helps.

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