The Umbrella of Shopper Experience

While I shopped at a couple of grocery stores recently, the differences between "shopper experience" were clearly evident.

In one store, I was aimlessly looking for a product, but couldn't find anyone, anywhere, to direct me to it. In another aisle, a non-store shelf stocker appeared annoyed because his pallet was clogging the pathway, and he had to move it to enable me to pass. I thought, not a good shopper experience, and the store manager must be on break, for a week or two.

At the other store, as I again wandered aimlessly looking for another product, an employee asked me if he could help me find something. He then proceeded to take me directly to where the product was located. I thought, this is what a positive shopper experience looks like, and appreciated the personal attention.

The most critical result of improving the shopper experience is the establishment of the unique Point Of Difference it provides for the retailer.

At this time of year, there are a multitude of articles claiming what the biggest opportunities, and concerns the new year will bring. In my opinion, the three most important ones are: continued M&A, consolidation, and increased competition...advanced technology tools for enhanced retailer mastery of predictive intelligence, data management, and total operations efficiency...and improved understanding and implementation of "shopper experience." I would rate the last one as most important because everything else falls under this umbrella.

By improving the relationship with shoppers, retailers can determine better product and assortment mixes... establish more realistic and profitable price and value stronger loyalty...gain personalization feedback...and invest in lower-risk remodeling and store upgrades.

The most critical result of improving the shopper experience is the establishment of the unique Point Of Difference it provides for the retailer. The great aspect of shopper experience is that it can be practiced by stores of all sizes, and shapes. And with all the concepts, and customer engagement products created today, there are more than enough ideas to go around.

The one human element that ties all this together is: emotion. People make almost all of their decisions on emotion, and then support them with logic.

To that end, Stagnito Business Information just concluded three events that were emotional, and original.

Progressive Grocer's ninth annual Top Women In Grocery event was conducted in Orlando, Fla., and it honored women at all levels of CPG and retail for the contributions they make to the grocery industry. There were more than 450 women and men in attendance.

Convenience Store News held its first Top Women In Convenience event in Las Vegas, as it honored women of all levels in the CPG, and c-store industry. There were more than 250 women and men in attendance.

Both events were a great celebration of accomplishment.

Also, Progressive Grocer launched its first-ever Grocerant Summit event dedicated to grocery prepared foods. The very informative meeting was created to help improve the profitability of food retailers and their suppliers in increasing the share of consumers' away-from-home food dollars. The insights focused on emotional appeal, original quality products, and superior customer service.

It's clear to see how the people-first approach guarantees success with all other issues.

– Harry Stagnito,

President and CEO,
Stagnito Business Information