Since March, for major names like Instacart, Shipt, and Walmart, the grocery industry has witnessed tens of millions of grocery app downloads, translating to well over 100 percent expansion. The rising demand calls for new apps to improve the user experience and make food shopping easier and more convenient than ever before.
Yet these days software updates aren’t all about maintenance. More than just add-ons, grocery apps have become the entire store experience for several shoppers and there has never been a higher demand for a simple, enjoyable experience.
One of the views was shared by San Francisco-based Farmstead CEO Pradeep Elankumaran. Elankumaran, who will launch the first-ever Farmstead app this fall along with his team, told Grocery Dive that apps are “the new storefront.”
Business at COVID time Use of the grocery app has exploded in recent months as consumers overwhelmed e-commerce websites and major retailers updated.
The use of the grocery app has exploded in recent months as consumers overwhelmed e-commerce websites and major retailers updated. According to data from User Annie, the Walmart Supermarket user, which has since merged with Walmart’s key shopping app, saw an average daily download increase of 460 percent compared to January. The increase in downloads has provided retailers with a much greater smartphone user base to boost online purchases and brand engagement.
Yet when it comes to creativity in technology, there’s a lot of action coming from start-ups and platforms that provide alternatives to conventional supermarkets. Many have seen a business boom as COVID-19 drives unprecedented online grocery demand, and are working hard to get updates rolled out, while others have plans for brand new devices.
Elankumaran said their mobile demand has risen almost five times and has since steadily increased.
“There has been such an increase in demand for any online grocery company that no one has been able to capture it all. So it is only recently that the operations have stabilized that all the advantages of these app-based platforms and the changes that have been placed of place over the last few weeks and months are finally catching up and driving the growth and retention that we are looking for,”
Currently, Farmstead is seeing more consumers taking advantage of its weekly plan where each week they set a daily delivery date, and delivery slots returned on the same day.
Evolution of Apps At Instacart, Shaaf said that one of the greatest problems during the pandemic was the shortage of goods. The machine learning team had to make fast adjustments to its model of item availability so shoppers would get the most up-to-date details when opening their app to buy.
With behind-the-scenes updates, consumers are now seeing out-of-stock badges on items in the app as they browse, and small or out-of-store items are slipping further down in search results.
“The enhancements we’ve made to the app over the past few months, such as our improved forecasts of availability, along with our updated maximum cart features, help us set standards properly and create a seamless experience for consumers, shoppers, and retailers,” Shaaf said.