Shopper loyalty is on the rise as the UK’s “locked-down” consumers establish more of a routine, research from HIM & MCA Insight’s new weekly measure of shopper behaviour suggests.

woman in mask in supermarket coronavirus

The week commencing 30 March 2020 saw visit frequency across all grocery retail channels rise compared to the week before, while the volume of different retailers visited per shopper either decreased or remained the same, the Channel Pulse survey revealed.

The average convenience store shopper visited 2.2 times (up 5%), supermarket shopper 1.9 times (up 6%) and discounter shopper 2.1 times (up 17%).

As shoppers “get into more of a routine,” loyalty to a given retailer is also on the rise, with the average convenience shopper visiting 1.5 different c-stores in the week (down 12%), supermarket shoppers visiting 1.5 different supermarkets (also down 12%) and discounter shoppers visiting 1.1 discounters (no change).

Familiarity remains the number one driver to store, however it has seen a decline in the past week while confidence has grown in importance, with shoppers favouring the stores they believe will have the products they want in stock.

HIM & MCA Insight head of insight Blonnie Walsh said: “It has now been over two weeks since lockdown began and shoppers are starting to find more of a routine and are visiting fewer stores per week to find the items they want.

“Interestingly, shoppers visited grocery retail stores more frequently last week than the week before, despite increased awareness of the government guidance to limit the number of trips for essentials.

“Unsurprisingly availability is key to attracting shoppers. Shoppers are increasingly choosing a particular store because they were confident it would have the items they needed.

“Communication both online and in-store is key to reassuring shoppers that a retailer has a good range available – particularly for products that are deemed essential and harder to find,” she add.

All coronavirus advice is available on Convenience Store’s Shopsafe page here.