3 things to consider when developing a grocery shopping app

The ongoing digitalization of the retail industry is challenging every single operator to keep up with the consumer’s needs and must-haves. With the right approach mobile apps are proven to bring great value to the shopping experience, but what are the driving forces behind the app development?

The Swedish foundation Handelsrådet recently released a study by scientists at both Jönköping’s and Gothenburg's University on mobile apps within the grocery industry. One of the findings was the three main driving forces behind app development from a retailer's perspective.  


The retailer's perception of the competitive environment
The digitization process within the retail industry can be uncertain, hard-organized and with unclear cost structures, making it difficult to plan and take actions. Every grocery operator is most likely facing the same challenges which make benchmarking an uncertain strategy. No operator wants to become reactive, and are probably trying to focus on their own specific needs instead of copying others.


The development of customers' buying habits
Consumers are searching for apps with solutions and features that increase their shopping experience. More specifically grocery consumers appreciate tailor-made offers based on their purchase history. To this day many apps have been focusing on the experience within the store, but it’s interesting to consider the entire purchasing journey as well. For a grocery customer, it might as well begin at home, wondering what to make for dinner tomorrow.


Organizational limitations
This includes to what extent the organization's supply chains and distribution structures allows the retailer to create new services based on mobile technology. Also, digital trends can both appear and disappear quickly, which often makes it just as important to take time to analyze a consumer need as opposed to jumping on the latest trends. For instance, the consumers might not be ready for the IoT-intrusion of the fridge just yet, so an app that speaks directly to a fridge might not lead to satisfactory results as of this time.