The impact of education — on 30 app behaviors.

Impact of education on app behavior

How does education impact app behavior?

I wanted to know, too.

So, I dug into the top 10 grocery apps. Then, segmented the results by three layers of education: high school, college, and master’s degrees. 

Here’s what I found.

  1. Walmart + Sam’s Club steal the show.
  2. You shop at Safeway + Dollar General after grad school.
  3. Instacart is loved by high school + college degree shoppers.

Let’s see why…

#1. Walmart + Sam’s Club steal the show.

That surprised me.

Given the Delta variant, I figured traffic would soar across all big-box — like in March of 2020. Wrong. Big-box app use is really moving for Walmart + Sam’s, but not at Target or Costco.

Check it out.

Top big-box grocery apps, month over month.

Sam’s Club breaks the mold.

Walmart is certainly up, but their wholesale division, Sam’s Club has twice the activity. The retail giant is doing great in all three categories, most notably, in those with a Master’s degree. 


Well, I have a hunch. Back in June, we pit Sam’s Club against Costco. Sam’s came out swinging. Their NPS score was 7 points higher than Costco’s; so they’re doing something right, given 95% are buying more there now, than in 2020.

It’s been said before, but…

It pays to create a great customer experience86% more, to be exact. 

Nice job, Walmart + Sam’s Club.

#2. You shop at Safeway + Dollar General after grad school.

That’s right.

Safeway is popular with everyone. You see a 9% increase in high school diploma shoppers, a 17% increase in college degrees, and 58% increase in grad school shoppers. Clearly, they’re doing something right to get this level of engagement at all levels. Especially, the grad schoolers. 

…Just like at Dollar General…

Wait, what?

You shop at Safeway + Dollar General after grad school.

Yes, you heard right.

If you’ve got a Master’s-level education, you’re 6.5x more likely to shop at Dollar General than a college degree, or a high school diploma shopper is — combined. 


Or, is it? 

The way I see it, the post-grad person is pretty keen to save a few bucks. Education isn’t exactly cheap, after all, and they’re likely feeling it. Makes a lot of sense. That, and when you think about the student debt they may still be saddled with — it’s all the more reason to save. 

Now, let’s talk Instacart.

#3. Instacart is loved by high school + college degree shoppers.

March of 2020.

As lockdowns rose, Instacart skyrocketed, with 47% of new users downloading the app. People wanted a way to shop safely. What they didn’t realize at the time, was the more they shopped online, the more they’d like it — and start to create future shopping habits.

Now, with Delta here, there’s a new reason to shop online. 

Take a look.

Instacart is loved by high school + college degree shoppers.

Instacart grocery delivery is up 28% for high school grads and 30% for those with a college degree. Meanwhile, those with a master’s are down 2%. Why, are they less concerned about the Delta variant?

Find out.

There’s certainly more to unpack here. For example, it’s interesting that the Instacart Shopper app is down for high school diplomas by 17%, but up for those with a college degree. 

It could be that unemployment problems are lasting longer for some consumers, and they need a little side gig. See exactly what’s going on with a 7-day free trial of MFour Studio.

What’s next?

Education impacts shopping behavior.

So, if you’re not sure how your target market is being affected, find out. You can survey the same sample we used here — a group of 100,000 demographically balanced consumers. Ask about their background and learn what they need from your business. Or, reach a new group. Either way, you deserve to have the data.

Now is a great time to study their behavior.

By Sydney Lewis

Reviewed by Cathy Karcher

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