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The Lempert Report
February 14, 2014

Take note of consumer concerns!?

When it comes to understanding why shoppers choose a specific supermarket as their primary one, findings from the National Grocers Association-SupermarketGuru 2014 Consumer Survey Report  has some exclusive insight.  And while you might think cost and savings are a big reason, shoppers seem to have more on their mind.  According to the survey, nine store traits that have less to do with money are among the fastest risers this year.  Let’s take a look:

Accurate shelf tags.  According to the survey this is “very important” as a store attribute, show how closely shoppers are watching their wallets, and how strongly they feel about pricing accuracy.

Personal safety outside the store. Up more than 3 points to 64.5%, and also “very important”, this figure shows it’s not just what’s inside the store that counts.  Surrounding areas have to be approachable and make people feel secure.

Courteous, friendly employees.  Up more than 10 points to 59.2% this big jump shows customers want to be appreciated and respected.

High-quality meats.  People expect more for the higher prices they pay, and they want at-home meals to include nutritious, filling and satisfying protein.

Conveniently located.  Tight time constraints and persistently high gasoline prices are likely the enforcers behind the need for a convenient location. 

Fast checkout.  People are done shopping and ready to leave!  Naturally everyone wants to expedite this part of the shopping trip.

Store layout that makes it easy to shop.  Well-designed aisles mean time saved for shoppers and fewer distractions from the purpose of their trip.

High-quality seafood.   Interestingly, this isup more than 3 points to 48.8%  perhaps the growing popularity of the mild-tasting, inexpensive fish tilapia likely contributes to the rise.  Overall, light proteins from near and distant waters appeal to more than three-quarters of shoppers. 

Finally, Perimeter fresh foods.  As we’ve discussed before,  fresh is the main store draw for nearly three-quarters of consumers. So bulk up on fresh! 

So, sure….saving money is still a consumer priority, but as we can see from these points, it’s certainly not the only factor.Supermarkets need to think broadly when it comes to how best to appeal to shoppers needs.