Technology Having Greater Impact On Grocery Shopping

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The grocery buying habits of consumers have changed in recent months due to COVID-19, as more shoppers have turned to digital alternatives in an effort to safely and more easily purchase food for their families, according to the 2020 Grocery Store Competitive Survey by Market Force Information.

Speaking with more than 10,000 shoppers in March, just prior to the height of the pandemic, the survey revealed that services offered by supermarket chains in the traditional shopping experience are no longer a primary differentiator. 

New safety guidelines put in place because of COVID-19 coupled with shelter in place orders across the U.S. have moved shoppers of all ages to digital shopping methods. 

Over the past two years, digital grocery shopping has nearly doubled, with more than half of survey respondents using an app. In fact, nearly 3 in 4 survey respondents have become repeat users of a grocery delivery service.

Additionally, grocery mobile app engagement was up 10% to 54% from Market Force’s most recent survey in 2018. The most popular mobile app feature was obtaining digital coupons with 78% of respondents now using a supermarket mobile app for this feature, the survey revealed.

Several grocery chains scored high in customer brand loyalty, with eight retailers receiving a ranking of more than 60%. Topping the list were Trader Joe’s (72.8%), Wegmans (71.8%) and H-E-B (71.8%) and Publix (70.4%).

Rounding out the top-8 in terms of loyalty were Harris Teeter (65.5%), ALDI (63%), Costco (61.9%) and Whole Foods (61.5%). 

Two of the nation’s largest grocery resellers — Walmart and Kroger — did not make the consumer brand loyalty list.

When asked about the most important factors when it comes to an overall experience, location (61%), good sales and promotions (58%) and value received for money paid (55%) made up the top three. 

Somewhat surprisingly, cleanliness was selected by only 38% of survey respondents.