New NGA Survey Reveals Customer Trends

The Lempert Report
February 10, 2015

From shopping at data-breached stores, to online grocery delivery, find out what the newest NGA-SupermarketGuru survey reveals about customer behavior.

Could a data breach spell the end of supermarket, customer relations? According to the annual National Grocers Association-SupermarketGuru 2015 Consumer Survey Report, maybe not the first time it happens, but repeat offenders could lose more than 40% of their customers! 

The topic of data breaches – increasingly common at major retailers this past year – was one of several new areas covered by the annual survey, which polled 902 chief household shoppers and which SG (a sister property to F3) conducts for NGA.  

Research showed for supermarkets that might suffer a first incident, consumers would be somewhat forgiving:  just 4.7% say they’d “definitely” switch stores, one in 10 would “probably” switch stores, and six in 10 (58.8%) say it “depends on the circumstance – a retailer deserves more than one chance.” 

A second incident however, and customers seem less than forgiving:  15.6% would “definitely” shop elsewhere, and 27.9% would “probably seek another store.”  The proportion of consumers that still feel it “depends on the circumstances” would drop to just 37.0%.  For the rest, 7.5% would “probably” still shop at the same store, another 14.5% “would shop there, but pay cash,” and only 3.0% would definitely stay on as a customer.

The survey also looked into another emerging retail trend: online grocery delivery.  Our research data show that people aren’t as engaged in this service as stores and food deliverers might expect, with only about one-third of respondents saying they are open to food delivery today.  But they do give the industry clues how to best shape this service to maximize its appeals.  

For example, shoppers say to gear up for three to five deliveries per month at most.  Also, prioritize these aspects of food and beverage delivery:  “food arrives in excellent condition”, “free or low-cost delivery”, “ability to schedule a delivery time, within a narrow window”, “same food prices as in-store”, and “temperature control of perishables”.  

And one final big takeaway?  Supermarkets excelling in environmental practices should make sure consumers know about it – because just one-third of survey respondents (34.6%) say they’re aware if their favorite stores are good eco-citizens.