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Grocery shoppers value an inviting in-store atmosphere

Grocery stores and supermarkets can leverage seasonal holidays and events to create more satisfying shopping experiences for customers. In fact, recent data from a national retail organization indicated American shoppers are more likely to respond positively to fun, cheerful retail environments. As businesses use in-store displays to increase revenue, cash counters and check processing machines allow personnel to devote more time to offering a friendly atmosphere by spending less time completing backroom processes.

A recent study published by the Retail Feedback Group, a consulting firm that allows businesses to better understand consumer preferences, found supermarket shoppers place an especially high value a store's ability to create an inviting atmosphere. While a majority of shoppers are satisfied with their favorite brands, a large number of participants said there continues to be significant room for improvement.

"The supermarket channel continues to show strength in cleanliness, cashier friendliness, checkout experience, sales promotions, grocery variety and fresh foods," Doug Madenburg, principal at RFG, stated in a press release. "This results in a high degree of overall trip satisfaction among shoppers, coupled with nine out of 10 of shoppers indicating a willingness to recommend their primary store to other shoppers."

However, only 2 out of 10 shoppers said their primary stores provided a fun and exciting environment. In other words, it's not enough for companies to simply offer quality customer service. Those who participated in the survey said the use of seasonal displays is also an important tool in creating a quality shopping experience.

Finding the right balance
Retail organizations in today's economy must make concerted efforts to offer a robust combination of quality service and an inviting atmosphere. The most recent "Supermarket Buying Guide" from Consumer Reports found a large number of shoppers are frustrated by a lack of available checkout lines and other issues that are detrimental to the in-store experience.

"The satisfaction rating gap, based on whether or not a store provides a fun and exciting environment, illustrates ample room for supermarkets to improve in-store theater to help win shoppers," Brian Numainville, another principle at RFG, said in the press release. "At the same time, supermarkets must not lose sight of the necessity for a fast trip and value/low prices as part of this equation - it's the interplay of these three factors that appeals to shoppers."

Money counters and check scanners provide multiple benefits to supermarkets. For example, rather than manually counting daily revenue, managers can speed up the process with the latest technology. As a result, store personnel can devote more time to serving customers on the floor.

October 28, 2013