Inflation

Savvy shoppers are raising the bar on what they need from retailers

Many consumers can’t afford rising prices, but they can afford to be choosy about where and how they spend their money. “Listen to your customers and deliver on their expectations,” media company Vericast advises retailers.
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Consumers are getting more and more savvy, and if they have to pay inflationary prices, they want retailers to meet their needs. They are exploring more shopping options, and if grocers don’t meet with their expectations, they’re taking their dollars elsewhere. Media company Vericast is offering up advice to businesses after their research showed that retailers rate themselves more highly than their customers rate them when it comes to how well customer needs are being met.

Some of the data that was highlighted from the company’s ongoing research that began in April focused on how deals influence where people shop and what they buy. According to Vericast, 31% of consumers prefer coupons that arrive in the mail or newspaper, 25% prefer print circulars that arrive in the mail or newspaper and 25% prefer online coupons or discounts.

When surveyed regarding having a printed store flyer delivered to the home that customers can rely on to plan their shopping, grocery stores rated themselves much higher than consumers. It was indicated that 81% of grocery stores provide printed flyers, whereas only 50% of consumers admitted to receiving them. Similarly with interactive digital flyer to build shopping lists—81% of grocery stores said they provide digital flyers; 48% of consumers said grocery stores actually provide them.

“Consumers are looking for enhanced experiences and tools to make planning, shopping and living easier, said Vericast. “Listen to your customers and deliver on their expectations.”

Regarding technology, again grocery stores rated themselves higher than consumers when it comes to their use of technology—85% of grocery stores said that they use the latest technology, but 56% of consumers agree with that.

“There’s an immediate opening for companies to offer more relevant and worthwhile experiences through tech at retail,” said Joe Lampertius, president of ChaseDesign|JGA. The category growth design firm’s research in October indicated that trends in technology will require brands and retailers to rethink how they move forward to reengage shoppers and where they should invest for new growth. In addition, marketers need to focus on connecting tech with shopper’s needs, making it easy and enjoyable to interact with, said the company.

Other data worth noting from Vericast includes: 59% of consumers are shopping closer to home due to rising gas prices; and 56% of consumers are shopping at fewer retailers to avoid driving to multiple stores. “Grocery stores with gas stations can help by marketing their locations as a one stop shop destination,” said the company.

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