Tag Archives: supermarket customer engagement

Enhanced Shopping Experience at Seattle’s PCC Community Markets

A recent SupermarketNews article shared an impressive slideshow about PCC Community Markets’ “new and improved” store in Seattle.

As you may know, PCC is one of Seattle’s original grocers and the largest community-owned food market in the United States. The retailer reopened its West Seattle store in Seattle unveiling a new 24,000-square-foot store that is nearly twice the size of the previous space.

With a focus on the shopping experience, the new store features many new offerings, including an expanded produce department, an outdoor patio, café, taqueria, pizzeria, and self-serve grain bowls.

This location is also is the first grocery store in the world to pursue Living Building Challenge (LBC) Petal Certification — the world’s most rigorous green building standard.

View slide show...

Better Supermarket Customer Service Yields Greater Revenue & Loyalty

A recent Progressive Grocer’s article shared data from a new report from by KPMG LLP,  which found that companies providing “the best personal, individualized experiences to customers” see higher revenue growth and improved brand standing and loyalty.

The “2018 U.S. Customer Experience Excellence Analysis” also ranked the top consumer “champion” brands according to customer experience delivered.

Among those that consumers ranked highest for customer service delivery were:

  • H-E-B
  • Publix
  • Wegmans
  • Amazon
  • Hy-Vee

Read the full article… 

 

Supermarkets Rank in Top 1/3 of Temkin Group NPS® Survey

A recent article, published by Customer Experience Matters, shared results of a survey that included Net Promoter® Scores (NPS®) on 315 companies across 20 industries based on a study of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Supermarkets ranked sixth out of twenty, with an average score of 39.

The Top 10 and their average scores were:

  1. Auto Dealers: 48
  2. Software: 41
  3. Investment Firms: 40
  4. Computers & Tablets: 40
  5. Appliances: 40
  6. Supermarkets: 39
  7. Insurance Carriers: 37
  8. Airlines: 37
  9. Hotels :37
  10. Retailers: 35

In case you are curious, the bottom scoring industries were health plans (24), Internet service providers (16), and TV service providers (11).

It’s nice to see that supermarkets in general are above-average when it comes to customer service and satisfaction!

Engagement Day at Smart & Final!

A recent SupermarketNews article reported that corporate employees and top executives at Smart & Final,  a chain of warehouse-style food and supply stores based in Commerce, Californian, spent Wednesday in the field supporting one of the year’s bussiest shopping days.

, spent Wednesday ou support of stores anticipating their second biggest food shopping day of the year, around 200 employees at Smart & Final corporate offices reported to work at its stores Wednesday, including its top executives.

“Some people need to stay back and turn on the lights, maintain the help line and keep the systems running,” CEO Dave Hirz said, “but everyone else is pitching in at the stores. It’s a lot of fun.”

The event is part of a twice-yearly “Engagement Day” supporting the company’s core value of teamwork.

Based on the premise that engaged employees lead to engaged customers, this sounds like a great way of promoting both concepts!

Supermarket Dining!

supermarketdiningWe all know that the trend toward providing a more enjoyable and diverse shopping experience has been prevalent in the supermarket world. So it comes as no surprise that food stations that resemble quick-service or fast-casual restaurants are on the rise at supermarkets, emerging as a natural extension of the traditional deli counter.

But a  SupermarketNews article reports that ten years ago Whole Foods Market, Wegmans, and the Texas chain Central Market began to experiment with bringing a high-quality dining experience into their stores.

While the full-service restaurants have been slower to catch on, some chains, such as Wegmans and Price Chopper have found success with the concept, the article said.

A more recent Boston.com article shared numerous examples of how an increasing number of supermarkets in greater Boston are winning fans with affordable, high-quality restaurants.

As new supermarkets spring up, plans invariably include kitchens run by chefs, dining facilities, and more-in-store classes, the article said, citing as an example the Whole Foods in Dedham, Massachusetts, which has a glassed-in Wellness Club. Others feature live music and poetry slams, and the Shaw’s at Boston’s Prudential Center conducts nightly wine tastings!

Supermarkets may not have yet achieved the level of customer service associated with more traditional hospitality organizations, such as Ritz Carlton, but they certainly seem to be on the right track toward greater levels of customer service and engagement.

 

Supermarket Shopping Experience Reinforced at “Supermarket Sense”

Continuing the “supermarket shopping experience” discussion from our previous post, a recustomerservicecent SupermarketNews article reported that it was aslso the theme at  Supermarket Sense, a food retail training conference that recently wrapped up just outside Atlanta.

“In today’s competitive environment, supermarkets can’t just sell food… they have to sell an experience,” the article said.

Sessions on saving the center store, reinventing the perimeter, tapping restaurant trends to drive supermarket sales and designing and merchandising delightful in-store spaces reflected grocers’ need to remain competitive amid unprecedented industry change.

Two data points offer a view of the challenges:

  • Online grocery sales in the U.S. grew 11% annually from 2011-2016, according to IBISWorld’s market research report. It’s now a $12 billion-a-year business.
  • Meanwhile, supermarket trip frequency decreased by 19 trips a year, on average, during that same period, according to global research firm Nielsen.

The solution, industry experts say, is engaging supermarket customers with an in-store experience that beats shopping online — or anywhere else!

Read the full article…

Supermarket Events: An Innovative Way to Engage Customers!

Given the increase of online food shopping and the growing ability to buy groceries in non-supermarket stores, such as Walmart, it’s no surprise that the average number of “weekly stock-up” trips to the supermarket has declined.

However, data indicates people still prefer to go into a supermarket to buy certain items.

So the key for supermarket chains is to generate traffic by giving shoppers more good reasons to come into their stores.

According to a recent Progressive Shopper article, one of the best ways to connect with those shoppers more effectively is through the use of themed events.

“Gather a number of products that are complementary in some way and support a common theme, with the goal of driving increased shopper awareness, engagement and purchase behavior,” author Jeff Weidauer explains.

Weidauer goes on to suggest that most retailers are fairly-well experienced at putting on themed, in-store promotions, such as back-to-school, major holidays, Frozen Food Month, etc., and so on.

As the trend continues, the “themes” can be quite diverse.

For example, a recent SupermarketNews article reported the Marine Stewardship Council will teach New England consumers about sustainable seafood at events at Big Y and Whole Foods Market stores this month, the non-profit organization announced.

The events are part of a new campaign called “Good Catch!” MSC research has found that 58% of New England seafood consumers buy fresh fish at a seafood counter, compared with 40% of national consumers. At the same time, consumer awareness about sustainable offerings from regional seafood sellers is low. The Good Catch! campaign hopes to bridge that gap.

This more strategic use of events is also aligned with present-day marketing best practices. As noted in a recent Huffington Post article, retailers must “…build everything around the customer’s experience… they must understand the purchase journey.”

From a marketing perspective, it makes good sense to create ways of making a trip to the supermarket more value-added and more fun!

Events seem to be an excellent way of accomplishing both.

 

 

5 Food Retailers Named Among 50 “Most Admired” Organizations: But Why?

A recent SupermarketNews article reported that five food retailers  had been ranked among a list of top 50 “Most Admired” U.S. companies, according to a ranking published this week by Fortune.

The five grocery retailers named (and their rank) were:

  1. Costco (12)
  2. Whole Foods (24)
  3. Target (39)
  4. Walmart (42)
  5. Publix (49)

The annual list rates companies in attributes of their reputation including:

  • Innovation
  • People management
  • Use of corporate assets
  • Social responsibility
  • Quality of management
  • Financial soundness
  • Long-term investment value
  • Quality of products and services
  • Global competitiveness

Apple was the No. 1 ranked company, followed by Alphabet (Google) and Amazon.

Do you find it interesting that the rating criteria did not involve anything in the “customer experience” or “customer service” areas?

Emerging Supermarket Trends Show More Customer-Driven Decision Making

A recent SupermarketNews article reported that supermarket prepared food departments have become more robust and that many chains have  have added more trained staff and extra amenities while decreasing the number of offerings. The data is based on the results of a new FMI study.

Some interesting discoveries from the survey include:

  • Nearly 90% of banners now employ a corporate executive chef
  • 60% of banners employ chefs in at least some of their stores
  • Supermarkets are attracting people from the business side of restaurants and food service
  • 96% of supermarket banners are offering in-store seating in at least some of their stores
  • 86% provide free Wi-Fi

I’d say these interesting new developments are geared toward providing a better shopping experience, and serve as further evidence that more and more decisions within the industry are being made with the customer in mind.

Thoughts?

 

What Makes a Great Grocery Store?

SupermarketNews reported on a recent interview with Bob Mariano, CEO of Roundy’s, a retail grocery company headquartered in Milwaukee.

During the interview Mr. Mariano was asked, “What makes a great grocery store?”

His response focused on customer care: “A great grocery store is made up of great people that care about their customers and go out of their way to make them feel appreciated.”

Today, Mariano’s competes against major players like Trader Joe’s and others and plans to merge with Kroger before the end of the year. But they still regard themselves as “neighborhood stores” focused on service and operational excellence.

So how do they do it? The answer rests in relentless dedication to daily execution.

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