The future of finding the best deals on the supermarket shelves?

May 10, 2021

Will Broome, CEO of Ubamarket, discusses how AI can save even the most savvy of shoppers precious more pounds.

Footfall in supermarkets is once again on the rise as a sign that consumer confidence is bouncing back in the wake of the pandemic. Latest figures from Kantar has shown that online supermarket sales growth has halved since the height of the pandemic, to 46%, while the number of trips to grocery stores rose by 4% month on month in the four weeks to April 18.

As such, the latest shop prices index by the British Retail Consortium and NielsenIQ have shown that supermarket price wars are finally having a genuine effect, with food prices falling for the first time in four years. The index has shown that food prices fell by 0.6% in April, down from a rise of 0.3% in the previous month – the first time prices have been deflationary since January 2017 – while fresh food prices fell for the fifth consecutive month, accelerating to 1.5%, compared to a decline of 0.8% in March.

The Future of Offers

While traditional slashing of prices is currently working for supermarkets, consumer habits are set to radicalise the ways in which they receive such offers. In today’s data-driven culture, investing in technology, particularly mobile apps which hyper-personalise the shopping experience for each consumer base, can help retailers to better target each individual customer. They can then better observe the shopping trends and continue to successfully make the in-store experience more appealing. Signalling the desire for greater autonomy over the offers that they are provided, consumers have voiced their enthusiasm for data to have more influence on determining the offers they receive, uncovered in national research commissioned by Ubamarket – a white label retail tech pioneer that designs the Scan, Pay, Go app for Central England Co-op, EuroSPAR and Budgens, providing AI driven personalised offers for users of the app.

  • 52% of people in Britain (almost 24 million people) are happy for retailers to collect and use their consumer data if it means there are money saving opportunities attached to it (this figure increases to 60% for millennials)
  • 24% of people in Britain (10 million people) say that UK food retail is one of the only sectors that they don’t mind receiving personalised offers from
  • 23% of shoppers (over 9 million people) feel they have lost up to hundreds of pounds worth of savings and offers due to not always using their loyalty card

The data suggests that a considerable number of people would be likely to shop in-store if they were well-informed of discounts, for example, through an app or alerts. This would also suggest why continental discounters have become so competitive. Furthermore, Ubamarket’s data indicates that the mountain of loyalty cards racked up by shoppers is no longer effective. Introducing mobile technology which helps shoppers to track and earn points across multiple stores and retailers, can help customers to unlock the deals and money saving opportunities and encourage them to frequent the physical stores. 

Will Broome, CEO of Ubamarket, discusses how AI driven offers is set to become far more prevalent in grocery retail.

“Serving as the sole point of contact for millions through lockdown, supermarkets have proven to be vastly popular over the last year. Furthermore as social restrictions lift, many of us have sought to regain a semblance of normality, so the initial uptick of people visiting supermarkets will naturally increase.

“However, when the dust settles after the pandemic, retailers will have to address the issues they faced pre-Covid. 2019 was an unbelievably tough year for the retail industry, with widely reported store closures across the country and constant announcements of falling sales figures, and retailers will have ensure their purple patch of the last 12 months isn’t forgotten about.

“This means addressing the question of whether the physical store offers an attractive experience and compelling money-saving opportunities or not.

“Our research clearly shows that a huge portion of consumers see personalised shopping and easy access to offers and loyalty benefits as key elements of their shopping experience. Incorporating technology, such as in-app payments and personalised offers, can make the high street offering as convenient as possible and encourage more footfall into stores. Technology gives shoppers a reason to get up off the couch and feel excited to shop in-person again, and at Ubamarket, we are committed to providing this technology to help traditional retailers not only survive, but thrive.”

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