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TCC Global

What Shoppers Really Want tcc Report

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14 Jun 2019

At tcc global, we work with major retailers in over 50 countries across the globe. We know that the grocery retail industry is enormously varied, with characteristics unique to every market

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By Bryan Roberts, Global Insights Director at tcc 

At tcc global, we work with major retailers in over 50 countries across the globe. We know that the grocery retail industry is enormously varied, with characteristics unique to every market. However, we also see commonalities emerging that are causing global retailers to re-evaluate how they do business.

One of the ways we measure these differences and similarities is through collaborative research with shoppers, which gives us direct access to the factors driving shopper decisions across the globe. Our latest round of shopper research saw us speaking to over 5,000 shoppers in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Russia, Italy, South Africa, Australia and China.

Bryan Roberts, global insights director at tcc global, will be presenting the findings of What Shoppers Really Want in full at Loyalty Forum. Below, he presents an exclusive preview of some of the highlights.

The priorities of shoppers

What Shoppers Really Want is the latest in a series of reports from tcc global that has sought to evaluate shopper attitudes and behaviours in the grocery space. Specifically, this 2019 research sought to discover which retailer attributes are the most important in terms of shoppers choosing and recommending food stores, above and beyond the usual transactional drivers of price and location.

Previous iterations of tcc global research have concluded that shopper choice is largely driven by transactional factors such as familiarity, location and price. That does remain true. However, with the theme of the 2019 Loyalty Forum being ‘love’ we wanted to look at how retailers are focusing on attributes that tap into the emotional needs of shoppers, going further than just the transactional.

Our research found that the attributes that most strongly influence shopper’s choice of retailer are:

  • Instore shopping experience
  • Responsible food sourcing
  • Catering for different dietary requirements and alternative diets
  • Adopting policies which are environmentally responsible
  • Inspiring health and wellness in shoppers and their families

We also found that attributes which have traditionally been considered key influences on shopper choice are, in reality, of limited importance. These include loyalty cards, personalised services, providing an online shopping service and providing cooking education or inspiration.

Instore shopping experience

The instore experience was found to be the paramount attribute for shoppers when choosing or recommending stores—with 44% of our respondents ranking this in their top three priorities. The “experience” of shopping itself is being talked about more than ever, thanks in no small part to a wave of innovative and headline grabbing activations and stunts by grocery retailers.

It is notable that shoppers actually prioritise the functional attributes that contribute to their experience rather than the sensory ones. Sampling, aromas and music are all usurped by the likes of on-shelf availability, clean stores and the speed of checkout. As much as grocers may covet the PR-ability of the latest instore trends, it’s the fundamentals that really matter to their customers.

Top attributes wanted from the instore shopping experience

Responsible food sourcing

We live in a state of ‘permanent global summertime’ in which almost every conceivable item of food is available all year round. Despite this, it is encouraging to see shoppers placing value on how responsibly food is sourced. Thirty five percent of our respondents ranked “responsible food sourcing” in their top three priorities.

There is a global appetite from both retailers and shoppers to support smaller producers while emphasising seasonality and localness. However, when we look at individual markets we can see variation in attitudes to the concept of responsible sourcing. Australians and South Africans, for instance, are the most enthusiastic about supporting smaller farmers and producers. Meanwhile, French and German shoppers are the keenest on retailers selling regional or local products.

Top attributes wanted from retailers when responsibly sourcing food

Catering for different dietary requirements

There’s been a surge in demand for retailers to cater for changing dietary needs over recent years, so it is of little surprise that 26% of the shoppers we spoke with prioritised this.

Vegan, vegetarian, free-from and halal options have all seen increasing growth, but it is sometimes tricky to delineate between a fad and a trend. From the research we have undertaken, we sense that these elements are well on their way to becoming mainstream. In many cases, they are already complementing more familiar areas of a retailer’s range such as organics, low sugar and low fat—which remain the dietary requirements shoppers would most like retailers to cater for.

Top attributes wanted from retailers when catering to different dietary requirements

Find out more about Loyalty Forum

Bryan Roberts will present the full findings of What Shoppers Really Want at the tcc global Loyalty Forum, taking place at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam from 22nd to 23rd May. Click here to find out more about Loyalty Forum.

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