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There is a new survey out from Incisiv, conducted in collaboration with FMI-The Food Industry Association, concluding that "74% of grocers believe that digital shopping has made shoppers less loyal … 88% believe that a poor third-party experience negatively impacts shopper loyalty … (and) 76% of grocers believe that a poor web and mobile experience reduces shopper loyalty."

According to the report, "Despite these challenges … improving shopper loyalty has become a critical aspect for grocery retailers. According to the report, 71% of grocers say that improving shopper loyalty is a C-level priority in 2023. With the rise of digital grocery sales, it is more important than ever for grocers to prioritize technology and infrastructure investments to stay ahead of the competition and meet the evolving needs of their shoppers."

The report, entitled “Shopper Loyalty in the Digital Age,” focuses "the importance of offering a seamless omnichannel experience for shoppers to foster loyalty, including providing a well-designed digital platform, integrating with digital channels, and offering personalized experiences that meet the needs and expectations of individual shoppers."

KC's View:

It is an interesting set of conclusions that should not surprise anyone.  If I told you that 74 percent of grocers say that a poor store experience makes shoppers less loyal, you wouldn't blink an eye - in fact, we'd all probably wonder what the hell the other 26 percent of grocers are thinking.  Or smoking.

In 2023, it should not shock anyone that customers are more loyal to shopper-centric, integrated retail experiences that speak to what they need and want. 

One thing I would point out is that the grocers who blame "a poor third-party experience" may have only themselves to blame.  These grocers - often for legitimate reasons, since they needed to find fast solutions to immediate problems during the pandemic or because they were concerned about Amazon/Whole Foods - outsourced their e-commerce business, but didn't maintain enough of a hands-on approach going forward.  

Even if third parties are facilitating elements of e-commerce programs, retailers have to own the whole thing, since it is their name on the door and on the website.  Customers, in the end, don't really care who is really to blame.  They attribute their problems to the retailer with which they were doing business, and, if pushed hard enough, move on.