During the recession, consumers engaged in a variety of behaviors to save money while purchasing food. Sales of store branded-items, use of coupons and endless searching for the lowest prices were popular strategies. A new study released by Market Force Information reveals that grocers should emphasize factors other than price in their marketing now that the recession is fading.
The Market Force study analyzed the results of 6,100 survey participants and found that the primary reason to shop at a specific grocery store was convenience. Here’s how the numbers break out:
- Convenience: 67%
- Price: 57%
- Good sales/promotions: 52%
- Private-label products: 38%
While consumers are clearly paying attention to advertised sales and promotions, their attitude about a store plays a role in whether they’ll recommend it to friends. Currently, only about half of consumers give their grocer top scores. This is a concern. And consumer satisfaction has little do to with trendy issues like being green. Only 5% of surveyed consumers believe environmentalism is an issue with respect to choosing a store. Instead, market leaders have a policy of delighting customers. Janet Eden-Harris, Market Force chief marketing officer, says, “Customer delight, not just satisfaction, drives a two-fold difference in recommendation ratings.” The study reveals that consumers are specifically looking for higher quality meats and produce. And they dislike waiting in line.
An additional finding indicates that consumers are just as happy with smaller grocers like Trader Joe’s as they are with Aldi and Harris Teeter. Highly satisfied customers will increase traffic for a store. As a result, grocers should make sure they are offering just what the customer is looking for and back up their strategy with new marketing campaigns.[Source: Consumers See Aldi as Grocery Price Leader. Progressivegrocer.com. 27 Apr. 2011. Web 16 May 2011]