I recently cleaned out my wallet and I found about ten receipts from my local grocery store. At first I just brushed it off because they were just trash at the moment. But then I realized that I have ten receipts from the SAME grocery store! Not ten receipts from different stores, but ten from the same one! I mean how weird is that?! Is it just me or do all people go to the same grocery store every week or do they like shopping at different ones?
So I decided to do a little researching. There are three big grocery store chains in my area that I visited. At each supermarket, I approached five different people, introduced myself, told them what I was doing and then asked them one question: “when you need to restock on groceries, is this your main grocery store?” And after they answered with a yes or a no, I would follow-up with a why.
To my surprise twelve out of fifteen people answered that they do go to the same grocery store every week! Meaning that four out of five people are loyal to their grocery store and one out of five people like to bounce around from grocery store to grocery store. But the most interesting part of this research was the last question I asked customers: why (or why not) go to the same grocery store? One person told me that the reason that they go to the same grocery store every week is because they enjoy shopping there! They told me that the customer service is the friendliest they have ever encountered, that every worker greets them with a smile and asks how their day has been. The customer went on to say that it is just so convenient because they found that the grocery store stocked all the items they needed!
As far as those the customers that do NOT shop at the same grocery store every week did not have anything specific to say about each store. They simply stated that every store has different prices at different times, so they just shop where the bargains are.
This research showed me that the grocery store the customers go to has a lot more to do with the customers’ experience than with the prices. Customers value more about being greeted by the workers then the price tag of groceries. Customer service plays a huge role for why people go back to the same store. Also, people like how convenience of finding all their grocery items in the same store.
It is no wonder I had ten receipts from the same grocery store in my wallet… I too enjoyed feeling welcomed and sticking with a grocery store that always stocked the items I wanted and made me feel welcomed.
How is your customer service? Do you have a system in place to periodically evaluate and improve the changing customers’ demands? Do all stores have a policy in place to greet every customer? How often do you re-stock? Especially the most popular products?