July 20, 2015 – ARLINGTON, VA – Consumers download smartphone apps developed by grocery retailers for two basic reasons: savings and convenience. Yet, these motivators are quickly matched by consumer enjoyment and enthusiasm for mastering the app — and food retailers can expect to see a correlation between how engaging and entertaining their app is and their digital customer retention.


These observations are a few of the findings from a year-three Peck Fellowship research report titled, “Consumer Perspectives on Grocery Apps and Digital Trust: Retailer Opportunities for Maximizing Differentiation and Success” by Nancy M. Childs, Ph.D., Gerald E. Peck Fellow and professor of food marketing at Saint Joseph’s University and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the association representing the nation’s grocery stores.


Childs’ research with FMI over the past three years has focused on multiple aspects of digital grocery commerce, with this recent report focused on consumer perspectives of grocery retailer mobile apps and digital trust.


“The findings are exciting for food retailers,” says Childs, who employed both qualitative and quantitative methods to measure consumer behavior for this report. “Grocery app use is important to track and engages customer loyalty, and app quality and functionality can differentiate retailers in a consumer’s mind.”


Childs also found that active grocery app users are not overly concerned about their privacy but appreciate transparency by retailers regarding how their data is used.


“Digital trust is key,” she says. “The more consumers feel they are in control of their data, the more generous they are with information, and the more they are locked into an app for sales. The level of digital trust a consumer has with an app is critical and will be a meaningful differentiation when choosing grocery apps.”


For a copy of the report, visit www.fmi.org/store. Members of the press can request a gratis copy through FMI’s media relations team or visit: http://www.sju.edu/int/academics/hsb/foodmarketing/academy/peck/resources.html.