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5 Reasons Grocers Are Outsourcing Digital Development to Increase Brand Value

As COVID-19 disrupted consumers’ habits, brands had to reimagine how they use technology to meet the needs of customers in a digital world. Many forward-thinking companies are turning to digital development agencies to create crucial customer-facing digital initiatives like apps and eCommerce sites, and cutting-edge technology like IoT, virtual reality and augmented reality.

5 Reasons Grocers Are Outsourcing Digital Development to Increase Brand Value

However, choosing the right partner can be challenging. Because your agency will play a pivotal role in helping to drive revenue, save money and increase efficiency, it’s important to identify a partner who can offer meaningful support. In this playbook, we examine the five qualities that business leaders should look for when evaluating potential partners, including:

  • Do they have the experience to meet your goals?
  • Can they provide creative, out-of-the-box solutions that open up new revenue streams?
  • Are the team members you will work with engaged and experienced?

Content Summary

The right partner has extensive experience
The right partner can offer a holistic view of your opportunities
The right partner prioritizes design
The right partner knows that rating matter
The right partner engages top talent

As COVID-19 disrupted consumers’ habits and processes, brands have had to reimagine how they use technology. Today, digital-first is the standard, and activities that used to be done IRL have moved online for efficiency and safety. In response, brands have rapidly adapted their approach to everything from e-commerce to professional development to meet these needs in a digital world.

For example, forward-thinking companies are turning to cloud-based AR and VR to create immersive experiences that replicate personal interactions as face-to-face dealings are largely curtailed; and retailers are adopting ever-more creative and intuitive digital functions to support online shopping.

But the shift to digital can’t come at a sacrifice to quality. Many brands first turn to in-house talent, yet quickly find they don’t have the up-to-date resources they need, even with the most competent advertising, marketing, and technical talent on staff.

Similar to how most organizations turn to an advertising agency to handle complex campaigns, so should they rely on digital-development agencies for crucial customer-facing digital initiatives like apps and e-commerce sites, along with programs that involve cutting-edge technology such as IoT, virtual reality, and augmented reality. The digital world turns on a dime, and brands benefit from tapping an agency that is immersed in the ongoing evolution of creative standards and strategy best practices.

However, choosing a digital solutions provider can be challenging given that there is no shortage of people who claim to be digital experts. In fact, a survey by the CMO Club found that nearly one-third of chief marketing officers are dissatisfied with their current agency.

Because your agency plays a pivotal role in helping drive revenue, save money and increase efficiency, it’s important to do ample due diligence upfront to identify a partner who can offer meaningful support. Here are five qualities that business leaders should look for in an end-to-end solution to meet their digital needs.

The right partner has extensive experience

Engage the lowest-cost supplier, and you are liable to find you get what you pay for, said Pradeep Nalluri, president of Mutual Mobile.

You could end up with an inefficient process, a frustrating experience, a lack of accountability, an inferior product and, ultimately, a hit to your credibility.

Here are some ways to audit potential partners:

Ask for references: Chances are good their websites have a repository of favorable reviews, which is the right place to start. But you also should make the effort to actually speak with their clients to get a sense of their process and how it dovetails with your expectations. Then take their work for a spin. Download the app and click around; try out the immersive AR experience; make a faux purchase. The web is full of glitchy experiences, so it’s wise to check out the solutions yourself.

Pay attention to awards that matter: Agencies love to enter award competitions, and for good reason. After all, everyone appreciates recognition for their hard work, and it can be a crucial way to build pride among the team. But over the past decade, award programs and categories have proliferated, making it easier to become an award winner. While it’s worthwhile to applaud achievement, it’s important to note which award competitions are truly meaningful, in that they attract high-caliber entries and are judged by a blue-ribbon panel of industry luminaries.

One that’s particularly relevant in the digital technology industry is the CES Innovation Awards, bestowed by the Consumer Technology Association. This competition honors outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products, taking into account functionality, aesthetics, and the factors that make a product unique and innovative.

Look for experience across industries, which allows the partner to look at situations with a fresh eye: While some brands prefer agencies that specialize in a discrete space, it actually can be beneficial to work with a team that boasts cross-industry experience. Nalluri, for example, finds synergies and serendipity in developing initiatives for clients in fields as diverse as sports, construction, retail, health care, and automotive, as just a few examples of sectors Mutual Mobile has worked in across its range of more than 700 projects. “It helps us flex our creative muscles to look to other verticals for inspiration you can apply from one to another,” Nalluri said.

The right partner can offer a holistic view of your opportunities

You might think you want “just an app” or “an e-commerce website,” but is that what’s best to build your business? A solutions provider that is truly a partner can help brands think beyond the app or site to all the capabilities a digital interface can offer.

For example, as experiences go virtual, retail clients are realizing the effect of a robust digital-first strategy to enhance engagement with shoppers, such as using AR to help them “try on” clothing or makeup. And with many teams working remotely, app-based immersive VR training is gaining traction and is a solution that also fulfills the preference of younger generations for “snackable content” that can be consumed in short bursts.

The right agency can help you see the possibilities; for example, one of Mutual Mobile’s apps was recently praised for its practical interface. “From your Apple Watch, you can remotely control any downloaded audio content in the full tracklist or your playlist. If you have downloaded content from several editions, you can switch between those editions,” noted one satisfied user.

Another client in the construction space noted that Mutual Mobile had been able to save almost half an hour per day per person through the use of biometrics. “That is a lot of money for a company of our size,” he said.

“An internal staff may have the requisite technical expertise, but they may not be able to think outside the box to produce alternative and value-added ideas that will enhance the functionality, user interface, and user experience that maximize consumer engagement,” Nalluri said. “Our expertise is in helping companies open up new streams of revenue as they conduct business with omnichannel capabilities.”

One of Mutual Mobile’s fashion customers reported that sales increased 67% and custom-wear orders were 112% higher than average company custom sales within the first week of its app release.

The right partner prioritizes design

There’s a world of difference between using a basic template or deploying a custom design in your effort to promote your brand vision and protect your integrity. In fact, Mutual Mobile is used to clients asking them to create something completely different from any engagement they’ve done before.

Teaming with collaborative learners opens the door to discuss the buyer’s journey and what an end-to-end solution can contribute. “The real value of any project is in the ideation phase, where the resulting strategy drives execution. We believe in connecting those dots for a holistic solution that will cultivate customer experience and engagement,” Nalluri said. “The discovery process is where clients realize the benefits of tapping the brainpower of people with deep experiences across industries.” At Mutual Mobile, that entails an immersive experience that allows the agency to truly understand a brand and its stakeholders.

Mutual Mobile was our strategic partner and added value through consumer insights and design”,

said one client, adding that they hadn’t before experienced that type of relationship.

Besides finding an agency with the necessary skills to provide the right solution, you want to look for one that has a clear process in place to hear your needs and explore a wide variety of avenues to reach your goals.

The right partner knows that rating matter

Buying advertising and nurturing word of mouth via owned channels or influencers are key tactics for earning buzz for your app. But when it comes down to whether consumers actually download and use it, ratings are king:

In fact, 93% of consumers rely on reviews, with surveys showing that a star rating of 3.3 is the minimum they would consider for engaging with a company.

These rating matter for apps, too. In fact, the sales conversion rate difference between a mobile app rated from three to four stars raises the store conversion rate to 89%.

The right partner engages top talent

Most business owners or marketers have sat through a new business pitch with the “top dog” only to have their project relegated to a contractor. It’s vital to know who’s working on your solution to ensure it meets the same standards you signed on for.

That’s why it’s wise to look for an agency with a team comprised of employees, rather than contractors, given that employees are more apt to be dedicated to each project they undertake. They also have proved that they aspire to the ideals the agency espouses, such as collaboration, performance, curiosity, and a desire to learn.

We have worked hard to create a culture that engages our team and encourages them to perform their best work. They approach each client project with a proven process, led by an experienced program manager,

Narulli said. “Each member of our team is as committed to our client’s success as I am, as president.”

When considering an agency, you want to ensure you’re getting the service and experience you deserve. Start the engagement by asking key questions, such as:

  • Who will be my day-to-day contact?
  • What is their experience with similar work?
  • What other accounts have they/are they working on?
  • What credentials do they hold?
  • What will communication be like?
  • How do they measure success?


In today’s digitally driven world, the first — and often only — experience a consumer has with your company is through its online experience, whether it’s an app, an e-commerce platform, or a VR or AI engagement. That’s why it’s imperative to be sure you’re working with an agency that takes your brand reputation as seriously as you do. Developing digital initiatives requires an investment in both time and resources — neither of which anyone can afford to squander given the rapid pace of today’s world.

Doing due diligence upfront will ensure you choose a partner that is ready to help you take your digital presence to the next level.

Source from Mutual Mobile

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