Blackhawk Engagement Solutions Research Uncovers “How Grocery Shoppers Shop”

New research from Blackhawk Network’s incentives division, Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, has uncovered how buying trends are impacting the grocery segment. Recently featured in Grocery Headquarters, Payments Journal, and Store Brands Magazine, the research found that American grocery shoppers are strapped for time yet willing to work for the very best value.

According to Rodney Mason, GVP of Marketing at Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, “Brands can no longer take grocery customers for granted. Price sensitivity, customer time deficiency, and instant access to promotions and product information are putting greater pressure on retail and product companies to shift with consumer demands.”

Key findings from the research include:

  • It’s about the bottom line: When asked to rank the factors in selecting a grocery store by order of importance, shoppers placed the convenience of location behind the attraction of price: 70 percent said price was the leading factor, 59 percent said products/brands I specifically need, 48 percent said store location and 31 percent said faster checkout. Additionally, 60 percent of shoppers report being loyal to a particular grocery store.
  • Grocery shoppers do their money-saving homework: Fifty-eight percent of shoppers actively look for deals and promotions before going to the grocery store; 68 percent belong to at least two grocery store loyalty programs; 68 percent always use deals, promotions and coupons on grocery store items, and the rest do sometimes.
  • Consumers aren’t always brand loyal: Ninety one percent of shoppers believe store brands are a great value, and 72 percent believe store brands are the same quality as national brands. Only half (52 percent) of shoppers report buying brand-name products always or in certain categories.
  • Consumers prefer larger values from rebates: Shoppers don’t mind jumping through a hoop for bigger savings. By a large margin, the majority prefer richer rebate rewards over instant discounts for single-item purchases across all grocery store departments, including gift cards, cooking and baking supplies, cleaning supplies, pet supplies, baby supplies, paper products, meat and deli items and more.
  • Shoppers embrace grocery store apps, not third-party shopping apps: Consumers are becoming increasingly more comfortable using apps for grocery shopping; the top used apps are: Amazon (71 percent), grocery store apps (28 percent), Walmart (26 percent) and Target (25 percent). Third-party savings apps are not used much, with use in the low single digits for the grocery channel.


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