Shopper loyalty has been a concern for independent retailers since the coronavirus pandemic began. So are the customers gained through lockdown moving back to the major multiples now restrictions are easing? We commissioned a survey to find out.
The survey of 500 independent retailers, carried out by retailer engagement app *shopt, found that while customer spending has dipped since lockdown restrictions have relaxed, shopper loyalty and footfall have been maintained in recent months when compared to the early days of the pandemic.
When asked if they had seen a change in how much each customer is spending since lockdown restrictions have eased, 45% of retailers said they noticed customers were spending less, while 25.6% said customers were spending more and 29.4% said they were spending exactly the same.
Footfall has also remained relatively steady since lockdown has been relaxed, the survey suggests. Less than half (40%) of respondents felt footfall had reduced, while 38% reported an increase or a significant increase and 22% reported no change.
Even more importantly, when asked if the customers that opted to shop at their stores during lockdown continued to do so now restrictions had eased slightly, almost two-thirds (64%) said yes while 36% said no.
With customers remaining loyal to the convenience stores they used in the early days of lockdown, several categories are showing good growth.
Alcohol was the category reported by the most retailers as seeing growth since lockdown relaxed, but soft drinks and world foods also ranked highly. Fruit and vegetables and bakery were the categories highlighted by the fewest number of respondents as seeing growth since lockdown.