Woolworths is seeing a 320 percent increase in the use of its app as shoppers either digitally prepare for a physical shop or - if they qualify - complete their grocery shopping online.
CEO Brad Banducci revealed the number in a letter to customers on Friday afternoon, in which he said Woolworths was working hard to embrace “the new normal”.
“Australians are shopping less often, but buying more when they do,” Banducci said.
“We are shopping more locally, more in the mornings and less on Saturdays and Sundays.”
With online shopping still limited to customers that qualify for priority assistance, Banducci said that other customers were using the Woolworths app to prepare in advance, limiting their time in-store.
He said there are now 1.2 million active users of the app, which - among its functions - shows “where to find products in your local store” and can help “organise your shopping list by aisle”.
“The use of the Woolworths App is up 320 percent, driven by viewing our digital catalogue, planning a physical shop and online shopping itself,” Banducci said.
“Traffic to our website has [also] more than doubled, especially by those looking for recipe inspiration.”
Banducci said that cash payments in store for April are so far down 35 percent, which he attributed to increased use of tap-and-go card payments.
The tap-and-go limit was raised to $200 earlier this month after pressure from Woolworths via the Supermarket Taskforce set up by the government to address grocery-related issues stemming from the pandemic.
For customers that do qualify to complete their shopping online, Banducci said there were now more options and windows available for deliveries, although demand “remains high”.
“Waiting times for Priority Assistance home deliveries are down dramatically,” he said.
Banducci also said Woolworths had gotten its vetting and approval process for online shoppers in order.
“Phone wait times are down to 30 seconds from 27 minutes two weeks ago, with approval typically within the hour once the form is submitted.”
For those still needing to come into a store, Banducci said the retailer is extending its use of clear protective screens to self-service ‘assisted’ checkouts.
“200 stores will have new clear screens between self-service ‘assisted’ checkouts by early next week, with others to follow soon after,” he said.
“These are in addition to the well-received screens at our staffed checkouts.”