Who would have thought as a little kid, sitting in the backseat of my mother’s car, tagging along on Sunday afternoon grocery runs, and counting the minutes until we were finished, that I’d have the sensation of living to see a time period where grocery shopping became fun?
I remember wishing there was someone that could come to our house and deliver everything my mother needed, so we didn’t have to drive thirty minutes just to shop for groceries. After all, that was a total of three hours out of my very busy, very Barbie, seven-year old life.
Remarkable enough, my wishing paid off. The time has come where groceries are delivered just by using smart phones or the internet—something my young mind could never even dream of back in the 90s. More and more countries are adopting this new, innovative way to grocery shop leading it to become quite a success.
In 2011, Korea’s number one company, E-mart was given a run for its money by second best, Tesco. Determined to grab the number one spot, Tesco needed a new plan without building more stores. They implemented a plan to bring the grocery shopping experience to the customer. Award winning idea? You betcha.
Soon, Seoul commuters had the chance to buy all the groceries they needed… while waiting for the train home. All they had to do was scan a QR code next to the item they wanted with their smartphone, and BAM! groceries delivered right to their door by the time they returned home. Since creating the “virtual store” one year ago, over 900,000 downloads of the Tesco Homeplus app have occurred. CEO of Tesco Homeplus, SH Lee, says, “The growing trend in Smartphones in South Korea means that virtual grocery shopping is even more accessible and convenient than ever before.” (Tesco) The company plans on expanding the virtual stores to over twenty bus stops throughout South Korea, focusing on local universities due to the majority of consumers ranging in ages 20-30 years old.
Recently, Nielson recorded the data in cold, hard numbers: 41% of consumers use a mobile coupon when shopping in grocery stores, and 26% of customers scan a QR code on their smartphone for product details. These numbers continue to increase with every purchase of a smartphone and every download of the app. Another fun fact; according to IDC, the smartphone market is now larger than the PC bazaar. (Digby)