No Retailer Can Be Everything To Everyone

By Brian Harris

Sometimes you come across a study or analysis that holds a universal truth for the retail world. Acosta’s recent Hot Topic Report, Trip Drivers: Top Influencers Driving Shopper Traffic, is one such example, and in fact, I think this may be the best single advice for retailers in the New Year.

As Colin Stewart, senior vice president at Acosta, summarizes, “Personalization is a key strategy in connecting with shoppers and creating not only brand loyalty, but also store loyalty. No retailer can be everything to everyone, but by knowing what motivates your shoppers, whether it be price, fresh foods or brands, make a commitment to the satisfaction of your shoppers to keep your location in their shopping mix.”

The phrase “no retailer can be everything to everyone” resonates. It benefits retailers, especially foodservice retailers, to focus on what they do best. Still, the challenge is to find out what motivates your core customers and make a commitment to deliver on what matters—and that’s a universal truth for all retailers!

A few key stats from Acosta’s study of the grocery segment stand out in support of this idea, and they all focus on brand:

  • Only 45% of Millennials cite price as a key driver of retail shopping. Millennials are more prone than the average shopper to vary their shopping based on where they are and specific brands.
  • 53%, of shoppers vs. 34% in 2011, are choosing which store to shop based on how much they like the store brand.
  • Brand preference drives traffic across all income brackets, including 37% of shoppers with household incomes above $199,000 and 28% of shoppers with household incomes below $20,000.

Acosta concludes that brands can help establish a loyal shopper following by delivering innovative products that align with consumer demand, and by consistently delivering quality, valued products to develop a level of trust.

But first, as Stewart mentions, you have to know what motivates your shoppers. That’s where the motivators identified in the study—price, quality, availability, and convenience—factor in. That knowledge can’t be gleaned from a sales report alone. It comes from store-level insights, specifically audits of your products, promotions and customer experience.

The key to obtaining better store-level insights is to develop a baseline audit. What are your brand standards, and what’s the checklist of things your store should be doing to ensure a consistent customer experience? Now imagine having the ability to easily share that checklist with your store network. You could require store managers to complete the checklist right on their mobile device and upload photos of promotions and product placement. You’d gain the ability to act on the information and speed up resolutions to problems that may be damaging your image. This isn’t a pipe dream—this is the functionality of Zenput, a mobile software solution for retailers, restaurants and convenience stores.

Learn more about what Zenput can do for your retail organization by scheduling a demo today.

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