A lot of Canadians like interactive screens in grocery stores

Caddle insights also reveal customers are noticing digital price tags in the aisles.

Couche-Tard McGillAbout three quarters of Canadians would like to see more interactive screens in store, with nearly half using these for price comparisons.

These are some insights Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, senior director of Dalhousie University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab, presented at a Caddle webinar this week, informed by spring data from Caddle’s 10,000-plus daily active user panel members.

Users were queried about how they’d use interactive screens if such services were offered, with 48.8% of reporting it would be for price comparisons, 26.5% for ingredient lists, 25% for nutrition labels, 22.8% for product reviews, 15.2% for recipes and 13.2% for product claims. The Caddle data reveals Gen Xers overindex when it comes to ingredient seeking, at 38%.

According to the numbers, payment innovations are also being keenly adopted by Canadian shoppers: 59.2% of consumers use tap-to-pay. And the data reveals that 85.1% of shoppers are satisfied with the self-checkout experience, while 75% of Canadians have used self-checkout for their grocery shop in the last 6 months.

Caddle insights show that 21.5% of Canadian consumers report noticing digital price tags at their local grocer in the past 6 months.

As Charlebois points out, right now, you have a mix of grocers with digital pricing, but also paper based, but that dynamic pricing will impact consumer behaviour eventually.

Grocery apps are the preferred means of sourcing discounts (41%), a paper version mailed to the home remains popular (37%), with 88% of consumers still wanting to receive a grocery flyer in one form of another.

“We are seeing a rapidly changing marketplace when it comes to promotion,” Charlebois says. According to Charlebois “the next battlefield for grocers and retailers will be loyalty,” especially given the economic climate of inflationary concerns and food prices being increasingly top of mind.

“The pressure is real, people are seeing it, people are feeling it,” Charlebois insists.

Finally, the online grocery experience continues to see changes, part of what the analyst calls a “nimble game.”

“You’re seeing an industry fully committed to the online business,” he says.

It’s a space that to a certain extent, remains anyone’s game. And Charlebois points out that flush-with-cash Couche-Tard, which is seeing strong growth in fresh food, and is innovating via its McGill University shopping lab (pictured, above) could be getting into the space through acquisition.

As Caddle notes, there are still brand promiscuous shoppers and people looking for what platforms are the best, with 52% very or somewhat willing to change grocery brands if they encounter solid ecomm customer service.