Currently only about 2% of groceries are bought online, which is “shockingly low” compared to other verticals, such as fashion, which sells about 20% online and electronics which is closer to 30%, CEO Sebastian Mejia said during a recent webinar hosted by The Food Institute.
What is worse, he added, is that these low rates are not for lack of consumer interest in online grocery shopping. He explained 53% of consumers have tried buying consumer goods online, but only 1% continue to do so. A major reason for the drop of is the current online and mobile solutions are complicated, inefficient and dull, he said.
For example, online retailer Amazon’s model “works pretty well for buying one or two items,” but the six-stage shopping process “is quiet annoying” for buying 60-70 groceries at once, he said.
Grability simplified the mobile shopping experience by creating an intuitive app that brings that habits of how consumers shop offline to mobile devices, Mejia said.
“In Grability, you can actually see products in a planogram. You can slide your finger and grab an item for your basket. You can also slide the planogram to see the aisles” and browse just like in a physical store, he said. Consumers can even buy fish by placing a photo of fish on a virtual scale and entering the amount they want.
“This translates to a shopping experience that is enjoyable and fast” – taking about 10-15 minutes to buy 60 items compared to the average 45 minutes it takes to buy the same amount of items on Amazon’s app, he added.
This user experience, which closely mimics that of a physical store but which can be engaged anywhere at anytime “is the main driver of adoption and loyalty for consumers,” Mejia said.
But that is not the only reason Mejia says retailers and manufacturers should consider partnering with the tech firm. He explained the technology also offers an easy to use content management system, non-invasive mobile advertising and consumer intelligence.
“This is a tool that is very, very efficient and scalable for retailers” in that it can be fully integrated with tens of thousands of stock keeping units, and is easy to customize, he said. “You can do interesting things in the lines of rearranging products, for example putting cereal next to milk for cross-selling. … And you can create the same look for fresh produce as you would in the physical store.”
App takes brand advertising to the next level
Unlike most mobile apps that rely on popups and banners for advertising, Grability “developed a way of advertising that brings the best of trade marketing, so slotting techniques and end caps, which have been done for decades in physical stores, can now be done on mobile.”
The company already partners with several large CPG players, including The Coca-Cola Co., Mars, Nestle and Unilever, he said.
Advertising also can be segmented based on users’ personal data and shopping behavior, Mejia said. Plus, Grability displays the products in their actual package on the screen to help brands better connect with consumers.
“In current websites, it is hard to see the product and to allow the consumer to generate that connection to the product. So, we find many consumers go for the lowest priced item” because they are not connecting with the brand, he said. But by showing the actual package, brands on Grability can engage with consumers.
Finally, the app can offer retailers and manufacturers insights into consumers by tracking and measuring their behavior.
“We can track everything from the planogram behavior …. We know how [shoppers] navigate through the aisles and we know how they use the search engine and then with that we can create a better store,” Mejia said. “So, it is a virtuous circle of improvement.”
A successfully tested product
But Mejia does not want retailers and manufacturers just to take his word for it. To support his claims he pointed to the success of El Corte Ingles, a major department store in Europe that partnered with Grability in January.
Since the launch, mobile sales have become the fastest growing channel for the store, accounting for 35% of all sales. Likewise, conversion rates are 7 to 10 times higher than the website and mobile has three times higher reoccurrence than the website.
That said, the app is not cannibalizing sales and exposure from the website, according to Mejia. “That means mobile is acting as a new channel” and a way to reach consumers.
Looking forward, Mejia says mobile shopping will grow quickly and be a driving source of sales to consumers who almost always carry their mobile device and therefore can show anytime, anywhere.