iTradeNetwork, the global provider of on-demand supply chain management and intelligence solutions purpose-built for the food industry, has commissioned research revealing the link between fresh produce departments and customer loyalty.
The research, conducted by IGD in Europe, collected responses from customers across supermarkets, convenience, and discount stores, and explored shopper attitudes and opinions with regards to shopping for fresh produce. It found that one-third of shoppers would potentially consider switching stores if they hadn’t been able to find the fruit and vegetables they were looking for and that shoppers consider the likelihood of a product being stocked or available prior to deciding where to shop.
Key findings included:
- Customers are shopping more often than ever (26 times a month) and one of the top reasons for this is to get the freshest products (35 per cent);
- Shoppers consider the likelihood of a product being stocked or available prior to deciding where to shop and often have a ‘hierarchy’ in terms of where they think they are most likely to be successful;
- Customers purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables were more likely to impulse buy fresh fruit (16 per cent) than alcohol (11 per cent);
- 36 per cent would consider potentially shopping elsewhere in the future if they couldn’t get the fresh fruit and vegetables for which they were shopping.
Julie Cumberland, Head of Marketing-EMEA at iTradeNetwork, says: “These findings confirm that retailers should focus on their fresh produce offering in order to build and retain customer loyalty and add value to their baskets. Customers expect the very freshest of produce to be available at all times and are willing to shop more often to make sure they get this. We know that promotions around ‘Fresh’ and stores that encourage more engagement with the shopper, with information on how to use certain fresh produce and ‘fresh’ meal deals, encourage shopper loyalty. The research highlights that for long term shopper loyalty, these promotions need to work alongside constant stock availability, quality and freshness.
“The fresh food supply chain, which is more demanding than staple goods, has a unique set of challenges, with high inventory turnaround and variables in both the quality and availability of stock. Supply chain directors need to look at smart logistics management in order to ensure their fresh produce departments are outstanding and act as an impressive showcase for their store – particularly with savvy consumers who are already making a decision about where to go for fresh produce before leaving home.”
Rhian Thomas, Shopper Insight Manager at IGD, says: “Over half of the fresh produce shoppers that we surveyed agreed that it is sometimes worth paying a little extra to get higher quality. An increased focus on quality in-store could therefore help to delight shoppers and drive increased engagement in these categories.”
iTradeNetwork’s solution is the only strategic offering that brings together visibility, control and insights to quickly get products to the shelves, while optimising costs and minimising waste across the entire food supply chain. Questions such as ‘What is the true shelf life of the product?’ and ‘How can I respond to unplanned changes in my supply?’ can be answered easily and quickly with the solution that has options for order fulfilment, product attributes, temperature monitoring, quality scores and food safety compliance.