retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The San Antonio Express-News reports that HEB has "launched a new app for customers to manage their grocery lists, redeem digital coupons and perform other shopping tasks. The free app is now available at the Apple App Store and Google Play ... The app’s home screen features a hanging sign much like the ones that list items in an H-E-B store aisle. Only this virtual signage gives users all kinds of shopping and sharing options with just a swipe."

According to the story, "The new app coincides with a new look for the grocery chain’s website, heb.com, with features that should work between the site and app so customers can maximize their grocery shopping experience via computer desktop and hand-held touch screen."

The Express-News goes on to report that "the new H-E-B app can scour stores for merchandise before users grab a shopping cart. Not only does it let users build a shopping list, it also checks to see if a product is carried in store. If so, the app can pinpoint the item’s location down to the store aisle. App users can zip through those aisles even faster by arranging their shopping lists according to the layout of their favorite H-E-B store."

One thing that the new app does not do, however, is allow users to actually buy product.

Dya Campos, HEB's director of public affairs, tells the paper that a purchase function is not available "at this time," though it does "let shoppers place floral and deli orders and arrange for pickup at the store."
KC's View:
My opinion on this matter - having nothing to specifically to do with HEB - has been stated early and often ... that all retailers are going to have to embrace online and mobile shopping, or find themselves irrelevant to the next generation of consumers, who very shortly will be the center of the marketing target for food stores.

Some have come to this faster than others, and I would not say that HEB is ahead of the game on this. But I also know that it is a company that thrive son relevance, and I have no doubt that it'll get there. One big motivator, I have to believe, will be Amazon's expansion of its Prime Now service to Austin, which I have to believe presages an expansion of its Amazon Fresh to that and other Texas cities.