Key findings from the study include:
1. Due to record inflation, consumers are struggling more than ever to pay their bills, and grocery stores are often the largest line item on the household budget that offers some flexibility.
2. Inflation is hitting certain premium specialty retailers hard, particularly regional grocers such as Publix and Harris Teeter. Which are behind the market in year-over-year visit growth.
3. Will cost-savings or quality win out? Many of the retailers ranked in the top quartile for their strength in customer value proposition during inflation are also vulnerable in the long term due to quality weaknesses. These include Dollar General, Grocery Outlet, and Save-a-Lot.
4. Retailers looking to drive results should focus on saving customer money, as it is 5x more important than delivering high quality. This is reflective of shoppers’ willingness to trade down on quality to make ends meet. In the long-term, however, saving customers money is only 1.5x more important than delivering high quality products.
5. Retailers looking to save customers money should focus on base price, which accounts for about 50% of “retailer saves me money” perception. Other areas like mass promotions and communications, personalized promotions, and loyalty programs drive the other 50%.
Dunnhumby surveyed 18,000 grocery shoppers in two waves of research: one in October 2021 and one in June 2022. The company gathered perceptions on the 70 largest grocery retailers and modeled their responses against Placer.ai foot traffic and Similarweb web traffic to see which preference drivers had more impact on traffic growth and emotional connection with retailers.