According to a new forecast from eMarketer, in 2019 more than one in five adults will use a grocery app to order food at least once a month. That’s nearly 23 million people, up about 25%.
The company also goes on to say that more than 30 million adults may use an app to order groceries by 2022. eMarketer senior analyst Patricia Orsini says online grocery sales represent just 2.8% of all U.S. e-commerce sales, but she adds that grocery is one of the fastest-growing categories.
Instacart, which has now raised more than $1.5 billion, offers easy checkout and has revised its “tipping” and service fee to make it much clearer for users. And Shipt, my personal favorite, puts customer service first and tries to match shoppers with the same person who picks their groceries and delivers them for every order—a huge benefit for building a relationship.
Now, many retailers want to eliminate the middleman and provide the delivery service themselves in order to protect the shopper relationship. A report says that grocers may not need to extensively promote their apps as much as they simply need to let people know they exist. This could be as easy as a one-time discount for downloading the store's app.
As the technology gets better and retailers can integrate more features, there are also in-store opportunities that may increase app use, such as customized in-store offers, the ability to check prices or locate items and possibly even mobile checkout, the report says. Apps can also be used in an in-between manner as consumers preplan purchases or search coupons ahead of time, using an app before they head to the store.