News Feature | February 6, 2014

Grocery And Convenience Store IT News For VARs — February 6, 2014

By Anna Rose Welch, associate editor

Online Shopping

Trends dominate the news roundup this week, with analysts noting growth in the demand for mobile coupons, digital sales circulars, digit gift cards, mobile payment, and bringing the online experience into brick-and-mortar stores.  

Consumers Seek Mobile Coupons, Digital Sales Circulars

A recent study from Key Ring shows that 75 percent of mobile shoppers have used their smartphones to redeem coupons. Similarly, 80 percent of shoppers claimed their perception of a retailer would change for the better should the retailer begin offering mobile deals and coupons. One way your retail customers could encourage purchases is by providing customers with a digital sales circular they can access via mobile. More than half of mobile shoppers said they would be more willing to look through a circular if it were offered via phone. (Of consumers surveyed, 96 percent report looking through weekly sales circulars before shopping.)

Digital Gift Card Demand Grows

This holiday season more consumers (57 percent) purchased digital gift cards than purchased physical cards (43 percent). InComm released its 2013 report, which shows that digital gift cards are more in demand than ever with the rise in online shopping and mobile commerce. Right before Christmas, consumers chose digital over physical gift cards at a ratio of 4 to 1.

Brick-And-Mortar Remaining Relevant, Study Finds

An Accenture study has found some shoppers are heading back to physical stores. The data shows that 21 percent of U.S. shoppers say they will shop more frequently in brick-and-mortar stores — up from 9 percent last year. The study also points out more shoppers appreciate stores that bring the online experience into the physical realm. More shoppers (78 percent) are “webrooming” rather than showrooming, and 57 percent of respondents find free delivery the most important delivery option. Forty-three percent of consumers find purchasing from their mobile phone easy, compared to 23 percent in 2012.

Mobile Accounts For 20 Percent Of Global Transactions

According to the third Ayden Mobile Payments Index, mobile payments accounted for 19.5 percent of worldwide transactions in December 2013. This was a 12.6 percent increase from last December and a 55 percent growth year over year. Mobile transaction volume rose by 23 percent in the retail industry, with tablets being customers’ device of choice. Transaction volume for tablets rose 16 percent compared to smartphones, which only rose by 7 percent.

GPS Tracking Hits Grocery Aisles In New Zealand

The New Zealand Herald reports that an Auckland supermarket has begun to trial a new GPS satellite tracking technology in order to gain information on shoppers’ habits. These tracking devices have been bolted to the front of grocery trolleys or in the lip of grocery baskets. This trial was initiated without any kind of in-store signage letting customers know. However, while shoppers said (upon discovery) that signage would be best, they seemed less concerned about the “Big Brother” nature of this kind of experiment than U.S. consumers.

Grocery And Convenience Store Talking Points

Both Convenience Store Decisions and Supermarket News are discussing the ways various retailers have been using social media successfully. In its 2014 social media awards, CSD highlights the successes of retailers Sheetz, 7-Eleven, and Flying J, among others. Supermarket News focuses in particular on how some retailers have been encouraging social media users to become brand advocates. Retailers, including Food Lion, CVS, Wegmans, and Whole Foods, have turned to social media contests to reward consumers posting product reviews, photos, and endorsements.

The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index, which tracks consumer cash flow, increased in December, Grocery Headquarters reports. Deloitte’s Alison Paul says that this increase should prompt retailers to keep encouraging spending by targeting customers across all channels. She says retailers should rely on “more personalized, high-touch connections through mobile and online points of contact” to draw in more shoppers. 

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s POS & Payment Processing Tech Center.

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