By Jim Dudlicek / NGA Director, Communications and External Affairs
Busy consumers rely upon their local grocer to offer solutions for their mealtime needs. Whether that’s a wholesome family meal on a hectic weeknight, a handy lunch for brown bag or briefcase, or a last-minute special occasion, the supermarket needs to be a solution provider.
How can independent grocers leverage demand for convenience into enhanced basket rings and consumer loyalty? NGA hosted a recent webinar, led by Dave Wendland, vice president of strategic relations at the Hamacher Resource Group, that explored the expectations, decision drivers and category preferences through the eyes of shoppers focused on expedient shopping.
Here are some key takeaways from the discussion:
What do convenience shoppers want? Ease, consistency, loyalty, value, choices and efficiency. 52% say half or more of their purchases are influenced by convenience; 63% say convenience is very important when shopping for groceries, far ahead of other categories like clothing and electronics; 66% of grocery shoppers are willing to pay more for convenience (though this survey was done before the current inflationary climate).
Shoppers across retail verticals demand a streamlined experience. Retailers in every vertical must create a consumer experience that prioritizes convenience by saving time and effort.
Online shopping fraught with friction is unacceptable; 83% say convenience is more important while shopping than it was five years ago. For what does convenience have the greatest impact on overall shopping satisfaction? 46% say it’s finding products, well above the 16% who say it’s checkout.
Create solution centers. Present curated solutions, with aisles grouped by occasion solutions, not just disconnected products or categories. incorporate apps, in-store technology and web-based tools that augment a shopper’s journey.
Respond to growth in convenience. Understand your shoppers; determine how many of your loyalists are on a convenience mission. Speed of checkout leaves a lasting impression, favorably or unfavorably. Move beyond products – surround items on your shelves with information to help consumers make faster, better-informed decisions.
The biggest shopper frustrations are out of stocks, difficult-to-navigate aisles, inability to see pricing and promotion information before coming to the store, long waits in checkout or service areas, inconsistency between digital and physical channels, and poor online ability to plan their experience.
Shopping closer to home is the No. 1 reason shoppers choose their grocery store. Expedited checkout is table stakes for any grocer. Loyalty benefits are more important to the grocery shopper – nearly 2 to 1 versus other retail.
Click here to view a recording of this webinar.