Good old-fashioned supermarkets still take the top spot when it comes to customer satisfaction while shopping for food online, according to a new survey by consumer research company The Feedback Group.
The survey of 1,000 online food shoppers showed that on a scale of one to five, grocery stores earned a score of 4.4. While that’s good news for those traditional brick-and-mortar shops, the ranking was not far ahead of retail giant Amazon, which earned a score of 4.3.
Mass retailers such as Walmart and Target took third place with a score of 4.26, followed by value stores like Aldi and Lidl with 4.11, club stores at 3.99 and dollar stores at 3.9.
“The study findings emphasize the strong performance of supermarkets and Amazon in providing customers with a satisfying online food shopping experience. Mass retailers also demonstrate strong customer satisfaction levels,” said Brian Numainville, a principal with The Feedback Group, in a statement. “In contrast, value-oriented, club and particularly dollar stores lag behind in satisfying consumer needs, with the results revealing a clear distinction between the top and bottom performers. Supermarkets clearly have benefitted from their investments in online food shopping capability improvements over the last several years.”
The satisfaction rating also slides for younger survey respondents. Baby boomers had the highest satisfaction rating at 4.4, followed by Generation X at 4.21, millennials at 4.1 and Generation Z at 3.95.
“These results should motivate grocers to keep innovating when it comes to their online shopping experience,” said Doug Madenberg, chief listening officer of The Feedback Group, in a statement. “Younger consumers—our future core customers—are active on so many digital platforms, e-commerce and otherwise, resulting in higher expectations than those of older shoppers.”
Online grocery shoppers had a less favorable opinion of the higher price of online shopping. The average rating in the five-point system showed that only 4.02 had a positive experience. Asked whether they feel they are valued as frequent customers by their chosen online provider, the rating came in at 3.99 out of five.
“In terms of personalization, the study showed that customers perceive their online grocery provider's understanding of their tastes and preferences to be somewhat lacking, with a 3.88 rating,” the study added. “Furthermore, when it comes to confidence in item availability when ordering, customers expressed concerns, as evidenced by a 3.84 rating, suggesting that online grocery providers need to address stock level issues to meet customer expectations more consistently.”
The study also revealed that urban shoppers are more likely to shop online than their rural counterparts. Forty-nine percent said they plan to increase the frequency of their online shopping this year, while only 42% of rural shoppers plan to do so more online over the same time period.