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Stop & Shop looks to enhance shopping experience via mobile pilot initiative

June 10, 2011

Modiv's shopping app for retailers

Grocery retailer Stop & Shop is piloting a new mobile application from Modiv Media that enables iPhone users to check-in, receive targeted coupons and check out.

The solution is similar to an earlier technology from Modiv that relied on a hand-held scanner for many of the same purposes. Stop & Shop rolled out the scanner version, called ScanIt!, to over 300 stores in 2008 and is expected to introduce the mobile program more broadly soon.

“This is a white label platform designed to engage retailers’ customers in store, out of the store, while they are going through the shopping experience and at the point of decision,” said John Caron, senior vice president of marketing at Modiv Media, Boston.

“Retailers are looking to do this because they recognize that buying decisions are made in store,” Mr. Caron said.

“We believe that mobile will have a broader impact than the hand-held devices,” he said.

Mobile users spend more
The shopping app was launched by Modiv in April and will be available for Android soon.

Offering a branded app with in-store shopping capabilities provides several benefits to retailers such as Stop & Shop.

By enhancing the in-store shopping experience, retailers can increase the average basket size by 10 percent during each shopping trip.

This is based on the four years of in-store experience Modiv has had with its hand-held device.

“We think it will be the same results for smartphones,” Mr. Caron said. “An increase in loyalty is driving the increase in basket size.”

The average shopping trip is shorter, as well. Based on results from retailers using Modiv’s scanner version, the average shopping trip using the technology is 27 minutes compared with the industry average of 40 minutes.

“As you walk through the store, you can scan items you want to purchase, put them in a bag and go through the self-check out when you’re ready,” Mr. Caron said.

Users hit a button at the shelf check-out to indicate that they are using a mobile phone and the shopping basket information is automatically transferred to the point-of-sale system.

“Users don’t have to wait in line,” he said.

Consumers are also able to see how much they are spending as they pick up items around the store.

They are also presented with coupons and offers based on their shopping history.

The media delivery service enables coupons to be dynamically delivered on a customer’s shopping history, giving brands a chance to reach shoppers with targeted offers.

Retailers who do not offer a branded app with these services are forcing consumers to use other companies’ apps.

“We don’t believe consumers will use one app for checking in and one for coupons,” Mr. Caron said.

“It’s a very bad decision [to not have an app], you’re educating consumers to use other people’s apps,” he said. “When you finally get yours together, you’re going to have a hard time getting them to switch.”

The app gives retailers a way to engage customers and differentiate themselves.

By offering relevant offers, retailers can also boost loyalty. As a result, retailers can change the conversation from price to experience and value.

“This is adding to retailers’ ability to do targeting, communicate with customers in-store and out of store and to integrate with other applications,” Mr. Caron said.

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