Are mobile apps taking over the food and beverage industry?

By Nichola Murphy
Wednesday, 27 September, 2017

Consumers are constantly looking for increased convenience, especially with busy working and social lives. With online and mobile apps serving this purpose, it is no surprise that many are choosing to use food apps rather than cook in the kitchen.

According to the 2017 Sensis eBusiness Report, the number of Australians ordering takeaway food online has risen from 36% last year to 47% this year.

Sensis Digital Manager Alice Mentiplay attributed this shift to the increase in the number of people owning a smartphone, from 78% to 82%, and the consequential rise of food and delivery apps such as UberEats.

“Intense competition has changed the industry and people can now order their meal in a couple of touches on their smartphone and track its delivery right to their door,” she said. “Office workers and commuters are even jumping the queue when ordering their morning coffee or lunch on the run, with apps like Skip saving precious time as people’s tolerance for waiting has hit rock bottom.”

The 2017 study surveyed 800 Australian consumers and 1002 small and medium businesses about their online experiences.

They found that gender stereotypes tend to be true when looking at purchasing behaviours. While men spend more than women online, $3450 compared to $2900, there are more women making online purchases than men, with 60% and 51% respectively.

“Purchasing behaviours might be changing but stereotypes appear here to stay. Men were almost twice as likely to buy electronic equipment online, while women were more than twice as likely to order cosmetics and also lead in purchasing clothing, shoes and doing the grocery shopping,” said Mentiplay.

However, consumers are becoming increasingly wary about their safety online, fearing their credit card details could be at risk from theft.

As Mentiplay stated: “Fewer people made purchases online this year, with the percentage dropping from 71% to 56%. While we can partly attribute this result to the weak retail environment, as noted in the recent NAB Online Retail Sales Index, consumers are also increasingly cautious about handing over their credit card details online.”

The study found that 89% of Australians are concerned about hackers compromising the safety of their private information online, and 86% are worried about the security of their credit card details.

Despite these concerns, the digital age has seen online services become increasingly popular as proven by the fact that over six in 10 Australians have some type of paid service. With apps such as UberEats delivering takeaway food to the dinner table and Skip reducing takeaway waiting times, the convenience of online services and apps is set to continue in the food and beverage industry.

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