While perhaps brand loyalty could once be assumed, mostly based on which store was closest to a given shopper or family, it can hardly be something that you take for granted in 2017. Nowadays, in large part thanks to increased access to competitors as well as online fulfillment options, the average grocery shopper regularly uses 5.4 different grocery retailers to meet their shopping needs.1 Meeting these needs most effectively in a changing world requires innovation.The Future of Grocery Retail Brand Loyalty
As shoppers move into the future of technological advancement, businesses cannot afford to continue doing things the same way they always have. As survey results can tell us about consumers’ desires, participation in trends can show us how they respond to new business models.
For example, Nielsen reports that in the U.S., 18% of online purchases are based on subscriptions, “including 30% of health and 29% of personal-care purchases.”2 This is not to say that a subscription model would work equally well for grocery stores and is the future of grocery retail, merely that such powerful trends demand attention and show us how the line between traditional and technology-based business models is blurring.
As technology becomes more integrated into society, its members expect it to become integrated into the way they live, work, and shop—and businesses must adapt to maintain their relevance and earn the loyalty of their customers.
If you’re planning construction of a grocery store and developing the business plans needed to operate it, you must to consider the people who will be shopping there. With more options than ever, including online shipping and delivery in some areas, how will your brick-and-mortar store stand out among the competition?
For a start, let’s take a look at market research conducted by Nielsen in its “Global E-commerce and the New Retail” survey in 2015. According to the survey, here were the largest factors in decisions to switch grocery stores for shoppers in North America and around the world:
Source: “The Future of Grocery: E-Commerce, Digital Technology and Changing Shopping Preferences Around the World”2
While North American priorities differ somewhat from the global average, the trends are the same: price, of course, is king, and convenience and product quality are not far behind in the eyes of the customer. Observing the data can help you to prioritize; however, succeeding in a combination of these areas will be more effective at attracting and maintaining brand loyalty than succeeding in any one of them alone.
Consumers have shown that they care greatly about price, convenience, product quality, and other aspects of their shopping experience, and it is up to you how your store will respond to these demands.
Grocery stores can achieve this by listening to what consumers, through market research, are telling them. Current research indicates that this includes the adoption of in-store fulfillment systems for online orders, among other areas of focus. ICI has collected multiple sources of research to help you to determine the best way for your grocery store construction project to adapt to current market trends and attract and maintain a loyal customer base in an increasingly less brand-loyal world.
- Article: “Consumers Continue to Choose Physical Over Digital for Groceries.” Business Wire. 11 Sep. 2017. Web. 8 Nov. 2017.
- Report: “The Future of Grocery: E-Commerce, Digital Technology and Changing Shopping Preferences Around the World.” The Nielsen Company. Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Nov. 2017.