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Grocers invest heavily in digital to keep up with customers' habits

Matt Sebek, who helped develop the Schnucks Rewards app as vice president of digital for World Wide Technology, said everything is on the table, with Schnucks and World Wide Technology just in the beginning phases of a multiyear partnership.

Posted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on September 16, 2018:

More grocery shoppers than ever are using mobile devices to supplement — or in some cases take over — their shopping, with one Deloitte study finding more than half of all grocery sales today are digitally influenced.

As such, grocers of all sizes are investing massive amounts of time and money in their digital footprints to attract or retain customers who are increasingly willing to shop at multiple stores to best suit their budgets.

More than 18 million Americans have a grocery app installed on their smartphones, a figure that is expected to nearly double over the next five years, according to research from eMarketer. And about 18 percent of those consumers use apps to buy groceries at least once a month, a trend that is also expected to accelerate.

In essence, grocers need to capture customers before they even walk out of their front door to get to the store.

Two of St. Louis’ largest grocers, Schnuck Markets and Dierbergs, have each launched mobile apps within the last few years to keep up.

Schnucks recently partnered with St. Louis-based World Wide Technology to create an app, called Schnucks Rewards, that lets customers earn points that are redeemable for dollars off future purchases. Dierbergs’ app, called My Dierbergs, provides similar services, such as digital coupons and store-specific item location tools.

Matt Sebek, who helped develop the Schnucks Rewards app as vice president of digital for World Wide Technology, said everything is on the table, with Schnucks and World Wide Technology just in the beginning phases of a multiyear partnership.

Sebek said the pair will trial, experiment and validate next-generation technology at various stores moving forward.

“We definitely have our eye on future-facing stuff around where the industry is going, like click-and-collect, augmented reality, voice assistance, curbside pickup and all those things,” he said.

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