Loyalty was top of the agenda for Richard Hodgson, Morrisons’ group commercial director, at the 2012 IGD Convention.
“We might not be leaders in terms of technology but we do know a thing about loyalty,” he said.
Hodgson revealed 90% of all purchases in stores were made out of habit and shoppers were risk averse. There is also little loyalty to big brands and promotions can drive massive shifts in allegiance, even on own brand, he said.
Shoppers are not loyal to any one store and 30% admit to changing their supermarket of choice if a competitor offers better deals and 40% will shop at at least four supermarkets.
Hodgson said a professional shopper has emerged and they were talking to like-minded individuals on social media etc. They listen more to each other than to us, he said.
Hodgson said that being relevant and personal can change attitudes and behaviours but a great experience is defined by great people. According to Hodgson, Morrisons offers a friendly experience, is consistent and its values are underpinned by trust.
He revealed Morrisons was investing in its Market Street concept with an extra 70,000 per hours per week to deliver experiential retail and was winning more brand advocates, as a result.
Sales densities in convenience stores are reported to be very good and relevant deals have been introduced such as Morrisons’ Fuel Saver campaign, where it is offering savings on fuel with purchases of gift cards from other non-food retailers.
According to Hodgson, it is selling £1m in gift cards per week.
On self-checkout, Hodgson said Morrisons offered the technology but shoppers also wanted the personal touch.