Stop & Shop is optimizing the grocery shopping experience with the pilot of a new application that is designed to allow customers to scan groceries and shop via their iPhones. The new Scan It! iPhone application currently is available as a free download in Apple’s App Store.
With this new application, Stop & Shop’s new mobile, in-store shopping experience allows customers to browse, tally and check-out through their smartphones, according to Suzi Robinson, Manager of Public and Community Relations for Stop & Shop New England Division. The new application also provides personalized offers to shoppers based on buying history.
“With Scan It! and Scan It! Mobile, shopping is affordable and fun, and helps customers save time and money,” Robinson told Retail TouchPoints. “The device keeps a running tally of the total bill, which allows customers to price-check and manage their budgets as they shop.”
The new app was developed by Modiv Media, a mobile shopper marketing solution designed to enable retailers to partner with shopper marketing and digital agencies, and coupon aggregators to create a variety of offers for shoppers. The company’s mobile solution also is designed to allow retailers to filter offer pools based on individual shopper interests, preferences, locations and past purchasing decisions, and deliver them to shoppers’ smartphones.
“Mobile transforms the way that retailers engage their customers,” said John Caron, SVP of Marketing for Modiv Media. “Think about how the online experience leverages clickstreams, cookies, implicit and explicit personalization and collaborative filtering to drive a personalized experience for the visitor. With mobile, retailers can emulate many of those components because they know when you’ve entered the store (you open their app), they know your purchase history (because it’s tied into the loyalty program), they know where you are (using in-store, Wi-Fi based triangulation), they know what’s in your cart (using scan-and-bag), and they know how you want to pay (using a mobile wallet, mobile payment or NFC). The smartphone becomes the tool by which retailers can directly engage and influence purchase decisions while the customer is in-store and just before they make a purchase decision.”
Currently, Scan It! Mobile is being piloted in three Stop & Shop locations in Massachusetts. Following a successful test, the retailer will implement the technology in additional locations throughout 2012. The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company currently operates approximately 380 stores in Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
“The customer feedback we’ve received so far has been overwhelmingly positive,” Robinson said. “Not only do customers feel that Scan It! Mobile is a natural transition from the handheld device, but it also improves their overall shopping experience.”
Caron added that retailers should focus on establishing value in the shopping experience to boost customer loyalty. By providing customized deals, retailers can then segment buyers and provide them with specials and information while they’re in-store to increase sales.
“Value doesn’t necessarily mean discounts,” Caron explained. “It really means helping shoppers save time by shortening their trip and saving them money on the products they like to buy or are likely to buy. It comes down to intelligent targeting. Are the offers you’re putting forth relevant and timely? Does the shopper relate to the product? Do they need the product? Or, are you just clutter on my phone? Mobile enables retailers, and their brand partners, to target shoppers in-store and just before they’re about to make a decision. And, the targeting is done in context of the shopper’s historical purchases, brand preferences, location in-store and items in their basket. By delivering a truly relevant offer, retailers can influence buying behavior and purchasing decisions.”
Other Stop & Shop Implementations
In past years, Stop & Shop has implemented other innovative technologies in an effort create a seamless buying experience. The company piloted its first self-checkout technology in 1999 and rebranded it as Check It! in 2007 in more than 350 locations. Within the same year, Weight It!, a self-service scale system for produce, was released in conjunction with Scan It!, a personal “shopping buddy” equipped with a smaller handheld device to scan items and receive personalized offers. The Scan It! technology performs one million transactions a month, according to Robinson, and currently is available in more than 250 stores.
Robinson also noted several other accomplishments and unique solutions the chain has implemented to create time-efficient shopping trips for consumers. “From self-checkout, to Delivision — an in-store kiosk to pre-order deli items — to Peapod grocery shopping and home delivery, to mobile applications, and this new mobile application, we want to make the shopping experience easier, more convenient, and more relevant for our customers at every touch point.”