Groceries Rank High in Cleanliness, Lower in Value

The 2016 U.S. Supermarket Experience Study from the Retail Feedback Group asked 1,200 shoppers to rank various aspects of their supermarket experience on a five-point scale. The highest scores were for product quality/freshness (4.51), store cleanliness (4.45) and product variety (4.43).

The ratings weren’t so good for service, however. Associate availability was rated at 4.20, with moderate ratings for other service factors like associate friendliness/attitude (4.36), associate helpfulness/knowledge (4.27), and checkout speed/efficiency (4.32).

Value for the money received the second lowest rating at 4.27. Drilling down deeper into prices, the results show meat (4.01), produce (4.06) and everyday prices (4.07) all generated low scores in the supermarket channel, while advertised sales items scored much higher (4.41).

"Not one of the service attributes scored at the top of the core experience factors, yet it is imperative to find ways to strengthen customer service,” said Doug Madenberg, principal at Retail Feedback Group. “Our research shows that when service receives high scores, the average trip satisfaction is significantly higher along with spending in the short-term and loyalty in the long-term.”

Other findings from the report:

• Satisfaction declines as the day progresses, with highest scores registered before 11 a.m. and lowest scores after 7 p.m.

• If shoppers could not find all items they came in to purchase, their satisfaction was significantly lower (3.92) compared to those who did find all items (4.43).

• Paper circulars are the most popular way to save money, used by 56 percent of shoppers, followed by in-store circulars (31 percent) and digital coupons (26 percent).