What Drives Grocery Shoppers to Lose Their Loyalty to Stores?

Maintaining shopper loyalty in the digital grocery industry is a growing challenge. According to the report “Shopper Loyalty in the Digital Age,” 74% of grocers believe that the rise of digital shopping has made shoppers less loyal, which has hurt their ability to build and maintain long-lasting relationships with clients.

The research, conducted by Incisiv in collaboration with The Food Industry Association (FMI), highlights the importance of offering a seamless omnichannel experience for shoppers to foster loyalty, including providing a well-designed digital platform, integrating with digital channels, and offering personalized experiences that meet the needs and expectations of individual shoppers.

“Digital transformation has revolutionized the convenience of grocery shoppers, but it also poses a challenge to traditional loyalty. Grocers must recognize that poor digital experiences can lead to lost loyalty, and thus prioritize building a digital-focused loyalty program that enhances the omnichannel shopper journey,” said Gaurav Pant, chief insights officer of both Incisiv and Grocery Doppio.

The report also explains that the rise of third-party delivery services has disintermediated the grocery and made it easier for shoppers to shop across the competition. At the same time, a poor experience with a third-party delivery service reflects poorly on the grocer; this is evident in the fact that 88% of grocers believe that a poor third-party experience can negatively impact shopper loyalty.

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Another challenge facing grocers is the increased expectations of shoppers for a seamless and personalized shopping experience. With 76% of grocers believing that a poor web and mobile experience negatively impacts shopper loyalty, it’s clear that retailers need to invest in their digital presence to meet these expectations and build lasting relationships with their customers.

Shoppers greatly value the convenience, control, speed, and personalization that digital shopping has provided them and will reward grocers that deliver on these expectations.

That’s why, for grocery retailers, shopper loyalty has become a critical aspect of their business, and they are making a concerted effort to prioritize it in 2023, emphasizing research from the firm Incisiv.

Loyalty programs are essential for building customer loyalty and are valuable assets that drive growth. Grocers expect a substantial increase in the share of sales, from 56% in 2022 to 69% in 2025, generated through their loyalty programs.

Doug Baker, vice president of industry relations at FMI, said, “In order to maintain digital shoppers and foster loyalty, seamless and personalized omnichannel experiences are necessary to succeed in today’s highly competitive landscape. These insights offer practical investment considerations for business leaders.”

The report also recommends grocers must also focus on improving personalization, offering high-quality product assortments, and providing a seamless shopping experience to build strong relationships with their shoppers.