Positive in-store experience becoming more valuable

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Creating a positive in-store experience for shoppers is becoming a vital factor in securing customer loyalty and spend in the convenience sector, according to HIM Research and Consulting.

Data from the 2017 Convenience Tracking Programme shows that shoppers who rate the in-store experience highly (ie giving it a mark of nine or 10 out of 10) visit the store 50% more often and spend 42% more than other shoppers. In addition, the average basket size of such shoppers is 16% higher, and they are 32% more likely to recommend the store to others.

According to HIM, this is part of a mentality shift among shoppers away from promotionally-driven behaviour and towards being “tempted and inspired” once in-store. CTP data shows that promotional and impulse spending in the sector has declined for the first time in seven years, with 19% of shoppers buying into promotions this year compared to 25% in 2016 and 14% buying on impulse (compared to 16%).

Ease of shop, store cleanliness and friendly and helpful staff all continue to score very highly, and 31% of shoppers say they will trade up to a more premium product if they enjoy the in-store experience. This, according to CTP, is particularly true in the bakery, meat & fish, wine and soft drinks categories.

Research director Blake Gladman said: “Shoppers want to know about products, and they want to interact with people and brands. Creating a great in-store experience is a powerful and positive factor for loyalty and spending.”

HIM has identified six new shopper types for the c-sector to target, based not just on demographics but also on the changing behaviour and attitudes of contemporary consumers.

The new target groups are Balanced Wellbeings, Ethical Idealists, Cash-strapped Families, Cosy Night-In Cooks, Lunch-hour Breakers and Relied-on Retirees, and a deeper knowledge of each of these groups will enable store owners to refine their offer to boost loyalty and the potential to trade-up, HIM argued.

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