For both grocery retailers and suppliers, securing the trust of shoppers must be a priority. The convenience sector is no exception, as almost two-thirds of shoppers in c-stores agree that trust in a retailer brand is very important, writes HIM’s Alice Dolling. Without trust, shoppers are unlikely to visit a store or purchase a product unless they are in a distress situation. And at a time of growing competition, securing shopper loyalty in convenience is vital.

Primarily, retailers need to get the basics right to gain shoppers’ trust, drive them into store and retain their custom. One element is making sure their store delivers on key shopper importances such as product availability and store cleanliness. For example, a ‘clean and tidy store’ actually ranks as more important than range and locally-sourced produce when it comes to a shopper’s opinion on what represents a credible fresh food offer.

Excluding convenience, friendly and helpful staff is the main driver to store for almost one-third of shoppers. If staff members are fully trained about the store and product knowledge, while also offering a smile, it will build the store’s credibility and shoppers’ trust in it to a greater extent.

Transparency and trust go hand in hand, and so it will be essential that retailers and suppliers are entirely transparent about supply chains and product ingredients. Clear labelling is an obvious starting point; suppliers must ensure their products are labelled with the correct information, informing shoppers about ingredients and product origins, as well as Free-from information, as 16% of consumers now identify as having a food intolerance.

Food origin is becoming increasingly important to shoppers, with one in five now looking to buy more locally-grown products. Independent retailers are in a strong position to build relationships with local suppliers, and retailers should clearly signpost when a product is local, not just because shoppers want transparency, but also because it can act as a point of difference in a competitive market.
A combination of achieving the basics, being open and honest with customers and driving provenance will build trust and secure loyalty.