Shoppers Seeking More Personalized Connection with Grocers

by | 3 minute read

As con­sumers con­tin­ue to demand more from retail­ers, the gro­cery indus­try should adapt and pro­vide tar­get­ed shop­ping expe­ri­ences tai­lored to spe­cif­ic con­sumer needs and chang­ing demo­graph­ics, accord­ing to a new report from PwC.  Based on a sur­vey of more than 1,000 shop­pers, the report shares insights on chang­ing con­sumer seg­ments, what they'll want for the future and what can be done today to keep them hap­py tomor­row.

"Gro­cers can no longer rely on pro­vid­ing a one-size-fits-all cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. The next wave of mil­len­ni­al con­sumers is like­ly to demand indi­vid­u­al­ized atten­tion and a shop­ping expe­ri­ence that meets their spe­cif­ic wants and needs," said Steven Barr, PwC's U.S. retail & con­sumer prac­tice leader. "We're help­ing our clients look close­ly at their tar­get cus­tomer seg­ments on a micro lev­el to effec­tive­ly tai­lor the path to pur­chase for each shop­per when they are in and out of the store. Gro­cers that tru­ly get to know their cus­tomers on a store-by-store basis can find suc­cess in the future."

Accord­ing to PwC, 83% of sur­vey respon­dents pre­fer to shop at tra­di­tion­al gro­cery stores. That is unlike­ly to change in the future; how­ev­er, cus­tomers will like­ly call for more per­son­al con­nec­tions with their gro­cer in the form of tar­get­ed coupons and deals, robust reward pro­grams and con­ve­nient, effi­cient in-store shop­ping expe­ri­ences.

More than half of the shop­pers sur­veyed com­plained of long lines and crowd­ed stores. Gro­cers that pro­vide a smoother in-store expe­ri­ence by tam­ing con­ges­tion are like­ly to earn repeat­ed shop­per vis­its. Fur­ther­more, shop­pers will increas­ing­ly look to store employ­ees as shop­ping advi­sors, whether for addi­tion­al prod­uct infor­ma­tion, new recipe tips or pur­chase rec­om­men­da­tions, as they will want increased ser­vice and assis­tance with deci­sion mak­ing.

Although online shop­ping is see­ing expo­nen­tial growth in the retail indus­try, the gro­cery seg­ment has not shown the same lev­els of engage­ment. Only one per­cent of sur­vey respon­dents con­sid­er online shop­ping their pri­ma­ry way of get­ting gro­ceries, though 92 per­cent report­ed hav­ing the option to online gro­cery shop.

"While online chan­nels may not become a com­mon way to buy gro­ceries in the near future, tech­nol­o­gy will still play a major role in the evolv­ing gro­cery expe­ri­ence," said Sabi­na Sak­se­na, man­ag­ing direc­tor in PwC's U.S. retail & con­sumer prac­tice. "Shop­pers expect infor­ma­tion at their fin­ger­tips and, accord­ing to our sur­vey, more than half of respon­dents want to inte­grate their mobile devices into their future gro­cery expe­ri­ence. Gro­cers that inno­vate and build on their dig­i­tal chan­nels to meet this demand will be most suc­cess­ful."

Ad-ology Research has dis­cov­ered that fre­quent gro­cery shop­pers – those who shop at a super­mar­ket more than 5 times dur­ing a typ­i­cal week – are con­sid­er­ably more like­ly than the aver­age con­sumer to be between the ages of 18 and 34, be sin­gle, and live in an urban area.  Almost 57% of fre­quent gro­cery shop­pers are men and 46% are will­ing to pay more for qual­i­ty.

Audi­enceS­CAN data is avail­able as part of a sub­scrip­tion to Ad-ology PRO. Media com­pa­nies can access Audi­enceS­CAN data through the Audi­ence Intel­li­gence Reports in AdMall.