Omnichannel initiatives are seeing greater adoption in supermarkets, and more are fully integrated than last year.
Keeping up with technology isn’t the most pressing concern among grocers (that would be labor issues or competitive threats), but it’s definitely on their minds. In fact, it was the third most cited concern in the annual Progressive Grocer survey, up from ninth place last year. Nearly three-fourths of respondents planned to increase their tech spending in 2018.
Omnichannel initiatives are still a priority, and a majority (56.0%) said they are currently operating a fully integrated strategy connecting in-store and digital channels. Only 12.1% had no plans to execute omnichannel features.
The leading omnichannel feature offered was mobile shopping apps (54.2%). The next most popular were delivery-related: click and collect (31.8%), third-party delivery services like Instacart (31.8%), and curbside pickup (30.8%). Notably, in-store mobile product scanning was implemented by roughly a quarter of grocers, while only 8.5% offered it last year.
Since mobile plays such a strong role in these grocery executives' strategies, they were asked about the biggest benefit that smartphones provide. Mobile coupons was the top response, cited by 55.6%. Meanwhile, Facebook lost value, dropping to 25.9% from 59.1% in 2017. Scan-and-go technology wasn’t even included in last year's survey, and now 17.6% think it has value.