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ShopRite exec: Mobile is not an emerging media

Wakefern Food Corp.’s ShopRite is ramping up its mobile initiatives and claims to be the only grocery retailer with a presence across Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and the mobile Web. 

The technology, powered by MyWebGrocer, lets ShopRite customers access online specials and create digital shopping lists from their smartphones. The ad-supported applications for iPhone and Android are built specifically for each platform with the goal of optimizing the user experience. 

“Our goal was to help our customers save time and money,” said Cheryl Williams, vice president of marketing for ShopRite at Wakefern Food Corp., Keasbey, NJ. “Our ShopRite Weekly Specials apps and mobile site allow shoppers to browse an online version of our weekly sales circular and add items directly to their grocery-shopping list from any Web-enabled mobile device. 

“Now shoppers can search for savings virtually anywhere they are,” she said. “Our mobile initiatives are easy to use and perfect for any customer looking to save time and money.” 

The Wakefern Food Corp. is the largest cooperative group of supermarkets in the United States. 

MyWebGrocer creates and manages digital sevices, including Web sites, digital media, online circulars, email marketing initiatives, mobile applications, social media strategies and customer acquisition programs. 

Mobile shopping aide
Within the applications, customers can look at digital circulars to see all the items on sale that week at their local store, and select items to add to their online grocery-shopping list. 

Grocery lists can be constructed from a desktop Web site as well, which syncs with the mobile apps and mobile Web site. 

Consumers can click on product-sponsored advertisements at the bottom of the app and add these items to their list. 

By bringing the online grocery experience to the three biggest mobile platforms, ShopRite is attempting to demonstrate that it knows mobile is not an emerging media – Ms. Williams said it is already here. 

Shoppers are spending more time on their mobile devices and it is important for ShopRite to be able to interact with their consumers through their preferred mobile platform. 

Thirteen grocery stores nationwide offer customers mobile applications to help them shop. 

ShopRite promotes its apps and mobile site by using traditional advertising—print ads, radio and TV—as well as digital media such as email marketing, search and social networks. 

To promote its apps and mobile site in-store, the retailer has created POS material and shelf-talkers. 

The company even employs its grocery bags as a tool to drive traffic to our mobile initiatives. 

The consumer packaged goods ads within the apps and display on pages where shoppers are planning and making their purchase decisions. 

The ads have been influential in getting shoppers to add advertised products to their grocery list. 

When shoppers tap on an ad, they are brought to a branded, customized landing page with different products from the advertiser. They can pick out a size or flavor and add it to their shopping list, without taking them out of the app experience. 

The ads are run through DoubleClick’s DART and the ad unit size across the mobile platforms is 320X50. 

Whatever the channel, savvy brands and retailers realize that it is all about providing a consistent experience. 

“Shoppers see the ShopRite brand and it doesn’t matter to them if it’s on the Web, through a variety of mobile platforms or in-store, they want a consistent value-added experience,” said Rebecca Roose, marketing manager at MyWebGrocer, Burlington, VT. “MyWebGrocer’s job is to make it seamless for shoppers, no matter how they are interacting with ShopRite. 

“We make the ShopRite digital platform a holistic destination,” she said. “The apps are designed to drive in-store traffic by having shoppers make a grocery list based on what’s on special this week at their local store, then use this list in-store. 

“But, we are hearing from ShopRite customers that they want a ShopRite from Home online grocery shopping feature on their phone, which could be done via an in-app payment mechanism or pay at pick-up.” 

Final Take
ShopRite for iPhone