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It’s no secret that people commonly use smartphones while in-store, however a new report has revealed the extent to which mobile devices influence the purchase journey for grocery shoppers.

A survey of 1,400 people who were logged into Wi-Fi hotspots found that 83% of respondents use a smartphone or tablet to prepare their shopping list, while 59% use a mobile device to search for recipes.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents then use their smartphone while in-store to help them shop.

The data is obviously skewed to only include people using some sort of mobile device, however it is a useful indicator of how connected consumers buy groceries.

The report from JiWire also asked respondents what information would most likely influence their purchase decision while in-store.

It’s a good idea to be cautious about these types of questions as it’s difficult for consumers to accurately predict their future behaviour, but even so it’s no surprise to see that coupons and offers achieved the highest score.

Almost a third of respondents (28%) said that receiving a coupon while in-store would impact their shopping behaviour, followed by a sale item notification (20%), seeing an ad (15%) and searching for recipes (12%).

What information on your smartphone or tablet is most likely to influence your purchase decision while in a grocery store?

To find out whether retailers are catering to this need I tested apps from several grocery chains.

Read on to see what I discovered, or for more information on this topic check out our blog posts on eight studies that reveal how shoppers use smartphones in-store and Tesco's m-commerce trial in Gatwick airport...


Target has an excellent mobile app that offers a huge range of functions, including mobile coupons that can be scanned at the checkout.

However I could not find a simple list function, which seems to be something of an oversight.



As with Target, Walmart has created an excellent Android app that includes a wide range of tools such as a barcode scanner and order tracking.

There is also an eReceipts feature so shoppers can receive a digital receipt for an in-store purchase.

However I could not find a list function. Instead shoppers would have to come up with a workaround by adding items to their shopping basket on the app to save them for later.



Kroger’s app has a very simple interface that hides a huge range of useful features. It has a long list of mobile coupons, a rewards scheme, barcode scanner and access to customer services.

Kroger also offers a very simple list tool that is very handy for using in-store, though in order to use it the shopper has to first create an account.


David Moth

Published 20 November, 2013 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1686 more posts from this author

Comments (2)


Leah Van Rooy

I love seeing brands incorporating the mobile experience into their customer UX. There's a cool tool I stumbled across (http://placecast.net) where marketers can use location detection to increase traffic in their stores by delivering mobile offers or ads to shoppers when they're nearby. This could be great to send people coupons, sale notifications or even a "did you know we have a shopping app that you can use" message when customers enter the store. Very interesting stuff!

almost 3 years ago


Ross Markbreiter

TechPay Mobile Payment Systems
Our first system SwiftPay TM has been completed and ready to go into stores.

almost 3 years ago

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