This is the fifth installment of FMI's Technology Blog Series, which explores digital innovations for the food industry and shares compelling insights from our research.

By: Doug Baker, Vice President, Industry Relations, FMI


FMI’s recent report U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends: Online Shopping, is a must-read for food industry professionals, especially those in the technology space. Diving into the findings, I learned that grocery store apps might just be the new secret weapon you didn’t know you had. Here’s how:

More Acceptance of Store Apps

Just over half of online shoppers (54%) have used a store app to order groceries, which is consistent with previous years. However, millennials and Gen X are more accepting of store apps versus third-party apps these days. This change is an opportunity in disguise.

Quality of Store Apps is Front and Center

 As grocery shoppers begin to use store apps more, the expectations of the app are higher. Online grocery shoppers (41%) tell us that the quality of a store app is an important factor when determining their primary store. Younger shoppers, particularly Gen Z, are most likely to evaluate stores based on their apps. This means the quality of your grocery store app may determine not only your current primary shoppers but your future primary shoppers as well.

But Wait, There’s More…

Online grocery shoppers are using more digital tools, and the trend is catching on. For example, 59% of grocery shoppers prepare to shop by looking for coupons or discounts on the store’s website or app, and 33% use the same digital tools to look up product information. Online grocery shoppers are also more likely to use digital list-making tools, and we also know from our Finding Value report that shoppers are using apps and other digital tools to compare prices across stores.

The Takeaway

Have you upgraded your grocery store app recently? Maybe it’s time to do some user testing and consider improvements. At the same time, your app and website user experience should be in sync, and you might consider how your digital coupon systems are integrated. Clearly, shoppers are paying closer attention to our digital communications tools, including websites, apps and more. Investing in these systems to ensure strong digital communications can help you differentiate and grow both your current and future business.

Download U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends: Online Shopping