MAJOR LOCAL SURVEY UNCOVERS WHAT GROCERY SHOPPERS REALLY WANT
Earlier this year, LNP Media Group surveyed over 1,500 Lancaster County grocery shoppers to find out what shoppers in this area like and dislike about the grocery stores already in our county. We also asked what they think about major grocery chains that may be in the market very soon.
THE BAD NEWS?
While this research revealed that about half of shoppers report they are “loyal” to a single store, we also discovered that even “loyal” shoppers regularly visit two, three, even five different stores each month. The bad news for Lancaster County grocery stores is that consumers are no longer very loyal to a single store.
THE GOOD NEWS?
And the good news? The same thing. Consumers are looking for value, deals and the kind of products they need to live their very individualized lifestyles. They’re willing to shop at more than one store to find the kind of products they want. So what can grocers in our area do to attract these rather fickle shoppers to their grocery or food store more often?
Romance Unusual Offerings
In the LNP Media Group grocery survey, shoppers say the most appealing feature about a possible Wegmans in the area is “variety.” Survey respondents believe Wegmans will bring in new products and offerings not readily available in other grocery stores. While Wegmans certainly offers a wide array of unusual products, the perception of variety may outpace the reality. After all, many Lancaster County grocery stores have tens of thousands of SKUs, and each store has several specialties to promote.
For example, does a grocery store regularly offer hard-to-find items such as lamb, real sugar cane, red lentils, vegan meatballs or even peach Fresca? If so, they should start inventorying the items they sell exclusively, or sell more of, or sell more often, and start promoting these categories or items in-store and in coupon flyers. By highlighting unusual offerings, grocers start building their own reputation for “variety.”
Win the Coupon War
About 70% of our survey respondents report that it’s important that their grocery story provide coupons flyers. This reinforces what we’ve been telling advertisers for years: grocery shoppers are looking for a strong coupon offering from their stores. In fact, 10% of our research participants said that if their grocer starting offering coupon flyers less often, it would be a reason to switch stores.
Be Nice to Customers
When asked which factors inspire store loyalty, customer service and the checkout experience were top factors. No matter how well grocers manage other aspects of their stores, customer service can make or break a customer’s desire to return. Grocers who want more loyal customers will not only provide more staff at checkout, they will also staff the registers with people who are happy to be there, willing to talk to customers and, in general, know how to be truly helpful. It makes good financial sense to reward the best cashiers with more money and preferential treatment. They can literally make or break the grocery business.
Talk About The Family
Our Research shows that Lancaster County likes family-owned grocery businesses, and they like knowing that the money they spend stays local. Many respondents noted that family ownership is a primary reason for staying loyal to a grocery store. “Family Owned” is important, but it’s also smart to start talking about the family. Does the family work in the store? Promote it. Add family photos to the photos already posted of deli managers and head bakers. Add the family name to name tags. Tell customers about the family and share the family’s business philosophy with customers. Call out family favorites throughout the store. Make the grocery store personal and human to increase shopper loyalty.
Specials and Discounts Still Work
90% of our respondents report that specials and discount are an important factor when choosing a grocery store. Grocers getting ready to run a big sale, or who have impressive specials running, should let ALL the shoppers in Lancaster County know. Our research shows Lancaster County grocery shoppers are willing to try new stores, so make sure to give them a reason to try your store.
WANT TO SEE THE ENTIRE SURVEY?
LNP offers more grocery and coupon delivery systems than any other media available in our area. To find out what’s new with LNP grocery marketing, contact us and we’ll even present our complete research findings to your marketing team.