Click and collect changing supermarket shopping

Many customers find an increased click & collect service is improving the supermarket offering, with ‘more value’ being the number one are that they need to improve, according to a new customer survey.

The State of Retail 2016 report was commissioned by retail marketing specialist Live & Breathe, asking 1,000 UK consumers for their views. The research also revealed that an increased click & collect service is improving the supermarket offering (14 per cent thought so), although less value appears to derive from the overall shopping experience: only 12 per cent said it was getting better.

The results deliver a positive outlook on the supermarkets:

  • Two in five (41 per cent) people say that the number one improvement to grocery retail in 2015 was ‘more value’
  • While a third (29 per cent) say it was ‘more choice / greater selection’
  •  One in five (20 per cent) people feel that supermarkets are offering more convenience than ever
  • An increased click & collect service is improving the supermarket offering (14 per cent)
  • Less value appears to derive from the overall shopping experience: only 12 per cent said it was getting better

Tesco recently announced that it is ending 24-hour shopping at 76 of its stores – Viv Craske, head of innovation & digital at retail marketing experts Live & Breathe believes this is a natural evolution for the retailer.

At the time of launching 24-hour shopping it fitted a specific consumer need – those needs and behaviours have changed. Tesco might be playing catch-up, but that’s fine, the important consideration is what it focuses on next – something the agency’s new State of Retail 2016 report helps answer.

According to the study, people also feel that supermarkets are offering more convenience than ever, with one in five (20 per cent) saying so. This was followed by customer service (17 per cent), though there were conflicting views here with 13 per cent of respondents saying customer service is getting worse.

Viv Craske, head of innovation & digital at Live & Breathe, said “2015 saw the growth of discounters as well as online and convenience formats, Amazon dipping its toes in the market and grocers slimming down ranges in large formats. But at the same time the supermarkets made a number of improvements to their grocery offering – and that hasn’t gone unnoticed by consumers.

“Click & Collect appears to be a key factor in the future of retailing – both in and out of the grocery sector – 18 per cent of shoppers say it changed the way they shopped last year. It’s something that has taken some retailers a while to get right and hasn’t always run smoothly, but is fast becoming an integral element of the supply chain and offering to shoppers.”

Shoppers’ top three complaints about supermarkets were: they were too busy with too-long queues (25 per cent), stores all look the same/lacking character (15 per cent) and customer service (13 per cent).

Craske continues: “The percentage of shoppers reporting better value is something we saw across the sectors. While two in five of us cited supermarkets as being too busy, this figure was lower than those for the high street and shopping centres and malls.

“It seems that supermarkets are getting price and choice right. In 2016, the area of focus for supermarkets should be on customer service, personal service and reducing queues in-store. The grocer that focuses on these areas while maintaining scores for value, choice and a successful Click & Collect offering will gain a clear advantage with shoppers and maintain market share.”