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Grocers fail to nourish consumer loyalty


U.S. grocery shoppers are an unhappy bunch. According to a survey by IBM, almost three-quarters of them feel either antagonistic towards or have no loyalty to their local supermarket.

The survey found that almost half of consumers were “antagonists.” These customers have such an unfavorable attitude towards their grocer that they may be damaging the business’ reputation through vocal displeasure.

“The IBM survey results indicate that traditional grocery retailers are facing a whole new set of challenges brought on by today’s sophisticated shoppers,” said Raymond R. Burke, E.W Kelley Professor of Business Administration, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. “Grocers need to improve their ability to sense and respond to the needs of individual customers. This requires capturing customer feedback, putting an emphasis on personalized messages and promotions and training associates to focus on building stronger relationships with customers.”

“Clearly the customer loyalty card efforts across the grocery industry have fallen short of their goals as grocers sacrifice customer experience to focus on lower prices,” said Fred Balboni, IBM Global Retail Industry Leader, IBM Global Business Services.

The survey results are part of a new study from the IBM Institute for Business Value, titled, “Why Advocacy Matter to Grocers.”


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