Having worked in customer service in the grocery industry for the past eight years, I have witnessed a marked change in the expectations of grocery shoppers regarding their purchases at their local supermarket. I believe this shift is due to the current recession, where shoppers are taking a closer look at how they spend their money and what they get in return.
From my day-to-day experience as an account manager. It seems that shoppers are looking for more than just flashy signs, aesthetically pleasing lighting, and free samples. However, consumer needs are changing due to the economy. Grocery shoppers are placing more emphasis on things like affordability, level of service, and variety of products offered, rather than the sales experience when making a purchase.
I’ve seen this in emerging trends such as more discerning, coupon-hungry shoppers and the success of department stores that have recently entered the grocery market. More and more shoppers are coming to grocery stores looking for bargains. These shoppers are armed with coupons and are excited about grocery stores that still offer double coupons. A second growing trend is the popularity of independent grocery stores. These businesses attract shoppers with low overhead and a 10% strategy. This strategy reduces huge costs such as advertising, construction, and aesthetics, and passes the savings on to the customer. These companies are truly industry leaders with low overhead and if they have an advertising budget, many don’t know it.
As a customer service manager, I have seen the need for ongoing training for employees in all departments of the store on how to approach, recognize and assist customers. The growing needs of customers and the proximity of competitors made this an important issue to address. Customers seem to view food as a commodity. If they can buy the same product on the next street at a lower price and with better service, they will. The products are the same in all stores, but the difference is the level of service and value the grocer can offer the customer in the process.
The greater the overall range of products available to customers. The less likely they are to turn to a competitor to find something they don’t have. As a service manager, I regularly get requests from customers saying they have a product we don’t currently have. Customers are usually very surprised that we give them such personalized attention. We have found that many consumers prefer to have all their needs met in one place. Rather than having to go to several different stores. This has led to the disruption of Wal-Mart, Costco, and now Target, which now offer a variety of products, including deli, buffet, electronics, and apparel, and now the entire grocery business.
With this shift in consumer behavior. It is important that grocery leaders take steps to meet the changing needs of consumers. We can do this by continuing to focus on the customer in all aspects of our business. We can do this by shifting resources from areas of lesser importance to consumers to more relevant issues. As many people know, satisfying existing customers is much cheaper than finding new ones.
Sara has completed her education in marketing and started her career as a digital marketer. She is a content writer by profession. And she would love to add multiple things to her knowledge that she can add to her writing style. She writes about Indian grocery online Canada.