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Kroger drives convenience for loyalty members with new mobile features

The mobile version of Kroger’s loyalty program also enables members to keep track of fuel rewards, create a shopping list and see weekly advertisements. These enhancements were debuted recently as part of an update to the Kroger mobile app.

“The first step for grocery retailers is launching  a mobile app or mobile Web site with the fundamental features; shopping list, weekly sales and store locator,” said Rebecca Roose, senior product marketing manager at MyWebGrocer, Winooski, VT. “Once they see the acquisition and retention rates mobile brings, they want to know what else they can do.

“The next step has been incorporating loyalty features, such as digital coupons and coupons ‘loaded’ to a shopper’s loyalty card, recipes, viewing fuel points, and personalized offers based on purchases,” she said. “We know mobile planners spend 81 percent more than average in-store shoppers.

“Not only do mobile planners spend more, but they are more loyal. When shoppers make a list based on what’s on sale for that week on a retailer’s mobile platform, they are not shopping that list at a competitor’s store.”

Kroger did not respond to a request for comment by the deadline.

Ms. Roose is not affiliated with Kroger and spoke based on her experience in grocery and mobile.

Kroger, Cincinnati, is the largest supermarket chain in the United States and the fifth largest retailer in the world, with 2,435 locations. It operates stores under names such as Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s and Ralphs, among others.

Exclusive promotions
To use the new features, customers need to download the app, create an account and register their Kroger’s Shopper’s Card.

Once they do, they will be able to load online coupons directly to their Shopper’s Card and shopping lists. Coupons can be viewed by category and sorted by popularity, expiration date, value and  most recent.

Other features include the ability to create an online shopping list, view weekly ads and add weekly ad items to a shopping list.

Users will also be able to access exclusive promotions and save money with personalized offers.

Meeting shoppers’ needs
Another new feature for loyalty members is the ability to refill prescriptions directly from a smartphone or tablet .Users simply type or scan their prescription number, select their pharmacy  and schedule a pickup time.

Other features include the ability to check fuel point and view rewards history, including their savings to date and their club point history.

A growing number of merchants are looking to mobile apps to make their loyalty offerings more convenient for customers, as smartphone typically have their devices nearby at all times. As a result, they can easily access loyalty information when they need it instead of having to track down a loyalty card or wait until they are home to go online and check their rewards status.

On average, grocery shoppers spend 16 to 19 minutes on supermarket apps, per MyWebGrocer. Typically, shoppers start on desktop to build their list, add to it on the go and shop in store from mobile. 

“Mobile grocery shoppers fall into two camps; point of need/immediacy, ‘I’m out of diapers, is the store still open?’ and planning/discovery, ‘Chickens thighs are on sale, what can I make with that?’” Ms. Roose said.

“Providing solutions to the shoppers at their time of need will be the next big thing in mobile,” she said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York