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Connected shoppers: what’s the research opportunity?

See how technology has changed the world of shopper research

About this article

As more and more shoppers use mobile devices, traditional research techniques are evolving to exploit the rich depth of data this technology can provide. In this short article, IGD Shopper Insight Manager Vanessa Henry looks at the opportunities that technological advancement can present for researchers.

As well as being a more affordable research solution, gathering shopper data via mobile devices can improve the quality of information collected and the speed at which we can collect it. However, one of its unique advantages is the ability to capture ‘in-the-moment’ data, something that’s been difficult via traditional methods in the past.

This is good news for the food and grocery insight community as main grocery shoppers are increasingly connected via mobile devices.

Growing number of main shoppers are digitally connected

Growing number of main shoppers are digitally connected

Source: IGD ShopperVista, main grocery shoppers, Mar’16

76% of main grocery shoppers now claim to own a smartphone; an increase from 47% in 2012. Over the same period, we have also seen a dramatic increase in the number of shoppers who claim to own a tablet device.

And it’s not just one age range to which these devices appeal – a wide range of shopper groups have access to smart technology:

  • Younger shoppers are much more likely to claim ownership of smartphones compared to older shoppers
  • However, ownership of tablet devices among those aged 55+ is similar to the total shopper base
  • Around one in ten main grocery shoppers say the own a ‘phablet’ – a larger screen smartphone such as an iPhone 6 Plus or Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Already, advancement and adoption of technology has had a major impact on how to approach shopper research:

  • It gives us more advanced capabilities to start conversations
  • Enables integration of new media – visuals and video can be effective on larger screen devices
  • And helps us analyse the data more quickly

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