Friday, March 15, 2013

Grocery Shopping Could be Digital

What would help me a grocery store?

A recent eMarketer article pointed out the Canadians still consume traditional media.  (Disclosure, I work for a Canadian media/publisher, so this crosses over into my day job just a bit.)

Based on the annual Canadian Shopper Survey conducted by BrandSpark flyers still rule the roost in terms of finding new product ideas in the grocery sector.

The report goes on to highlight some other trends and traditions.
  • Even in the age of digital, 80% of the lists are still on paper.  It is still far easier to write stuff on an envelope than use the digital equivalents.
  • Among users of both print and digital, 71% prefer the print version.  Not too surprising since the digital experience is just now moving away from a paginated publication. 
  • In-store research via smartphones is increasing.  While technology adoption as reached the late majority adoption stage (over 50%), in-store use is now at the early majority stage.
I wonder if this isn't an opportunity to leap frog.  At one time communication infrastructure and land line adoption helped to define the difference between developing and developed economies.  Cellular technology allowed countries to completely skip the building of infrastructure to communicate; they simply went wireless.   It is rare to find a country with less than 65% penetration (Cuba and North Korea being the odd ones on the list) - and that completely changes how business is conducted.

The digital opportunity should be on how do we reduce the friction in the process of filling a basket.   I cook, so here are my pain points in a grocery store:
  • Why can't I find an item on a recipe/list easily while I'm walking thru a store?
  • I need .25g of zanthum gum to make chili, what the hell else can I do a jar of this stuff?
  • What's new and why should I try it?
  • What goes well with that special cut of meat?
  • How do I find inspiration among 40,000 items organized by department, when I don't fix categories?
Time to rethink the experience and journey....

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