While consumers are more likely to shop at Tesco, Iceland’s customers are the most likely to recommend their supermarket and Waitrose customers are the most satisfied, according to a new study of 2,500 consumers conducted by Market Force Information, a worldwide leader in customer intelligence solutions.
What consumers like about their preferred supermarket
Market Force’s grocery retailer study was designed to uncover where consumers prefer to shop, as well as why they favour one grocer to another. When asked to rate their satisfaction with their most recent grocery store experience and their likelihood to refer that grocer, consumers scored Waitrose and Iceland above all others.
Waitrose’s customers are the most satisfied with an average score of 8.6 out of 10, followed closely by Iceland, Aldi and Marks & Spencer. Iceland is most likely to be endorsed by its customers with over 70% claiming they would recommend the supermarket to friends. Aldi scored highly in both customer satisfaction and in likelihood to be recommended (ranked third in both categories) as the German supermarket chain continues to build its presence in the UK.
No clear leader in the ‘basic’ attributes of convenient location and price
Market Force asked customers what attributes were most important to them. Convenient location and low prices were the top reasons given, followed by ‘good sales promotions’, ‘best one-stop shopping’ and ‘broad variety of products’. However the study showed that none of the supermarket chains dominate in these basic attributes.
- Aldi wins the highest accolades for providing low prices
- Iceland is very highly placed in three out of the five (providing low prices and good sales promotions and offering one-stop shopping)
- The Co-op ranks first in the important convenient location category
- Waitrose is recognised for the broad variety of products it offers
- Asda provides the best one-stop shopping
Brands that delight are operationally excellent
Real competitive differentiation begins to emerge when viewing operational excellence attributes. These attributes are factors which impact customer experience, such as courteous staff, high quality produce, cleanliness and fast checkouts. In these areas, Market Force found that higher-satisfaction brands tend to outscore other grocery brands in the customer delight index.
Consumers voted Waitrose, Iceland, Aldi and Marks & Spencer as the brands that delight them the most. Waitrose scored top marks for cleanliness, courteous staff and an inviting atmosphere, and second in accurate pricing. Marks & Spencer followed close behind in the first three categories.
Iceland ranked first in accurate pricing and tagging and second for fast checkouts. Aldi was top for fast checkout.
“Many supermarket brands are putting a strong emphasis on price and promotions. But there are many other supermarkets who are looking to differentiate in other ways,” said Simon Boydell, global marketing manager for Market Force. “Customers like to feel valued which can be achieved through having courteous and well-informed staff available to assist them, creating an inviting atmosphere, and providing faster check-outs for example.”
Waitrose and Marks & Spencer fight it out for product quality, healthiness
When it comes to consumers’ perceptions of high—quality and healthy product selection, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer vie for top position. Waitrose topped the leader board for high quality meat, good private label brands, natural and organic options and sustainable practices. Marks & Spencer pipped them to the post for high quality produce and nutritional/health information.
“Supermarkets have a real opportunity to provide a superior experience to their customers and thereby benefit from increased loyalty and visits. Indeed our study showed that more than half of respondents were willing to travel further than their closest supermarket to do their shopping,” said Boydell.