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The drivers influencing where consumers shop for groceries are…

Shoppers may not be loyal to specific grocery brands, but they are partial to those with the best price, quality, availability and convenience.

Whether shopping online or in-store, consumers want options when it comes to where they purchase their everyday groceries and supplies, according to a report from Acosta. Not only are customers hopping from brand to brand, 76% of weekly shoppers visit more than one retailer each week for groceries, according to” a report from Acosta.

The study, “Trip Drivers: Top Influencers Driving Shopper Traffic," revealed that 67% of shoppers visit approximately between two and three retailers weekly. But they are not just hitting random brands. Instead, they will only do business with companies that offer the best prices, quality, availability and convenience.

For example, when it comes to price, 60% of consumers reported shopping at more than one retailer because "some products are priced lower at certain retailers.” Only 45% of millennials cite price as a key driver of retail hopping – this generation is more prone than the average shopper to vary their shopping based on where they are and specific brands.

However, more shoppers are choosing which store to shop based on how much they like the store brand (53% of shoppers versus only 34% in 2011).

Fresh food is also driving grocery store trips, especially as many time-starved shoppers are visiting stores in search of that evening’s dinner. When it comes to weekly shopping trips however, 37% of shoppers make multiple trips weekly to ensure their food is fresh.

From old to young, each generational group makes multiple trips or receives multiple deliveries to stay stocked with the freshest food. This includes millennials (65%), GenXers (47%), boomers (25%) and Silents (22%), or those born between the mid-1920s to the early-to-mid 1940s.

Fruit (31%) and deli-prepared foods (29%) drive most of fresh food’s dollar growth, respectively.

Brands can help establish a loyal shopper following by delivering innovative products that align with consumer demand, and by consistently delivering quality, valued products to develop a level of trust. For example, 41% of consumers shop at more than one retailer because "some retailers carry better quality products in certain categories.”

Meanwhile, 33% of shoppers go to more than one retailer due to not finding all the products/brands they want at one store.

Brand preference drives traffic across all income brackets, including among 37% of shoppers with household incomes above $199,000, and 28% of shoppers with household incomes below $20,000. Forty-three percent of shoppers said that brands simplify the selection process when shopping at multiple grocery stores, according to the study.

"Shoppers appreciate having options, which is why we are seeing a rise in hopping from store to store for weekly grocery trips," said Colin Stewart, senior VP at Acosta. "People are motivated by not only good deals and fresh products, but also by brand loyalty, which can impact their decisions to either keep returning to a particular store, or hopping to another."

According to the study, personalization is another key strategy in connecting with shoppers and creating not only brand loyalty, but also store loyalty. "No retailer can be everything to everyone, but by knowing what motivates your shoppers, whether it be price, fresh foods or brands, make a commitment to the satisfaction of your shoppers to keep your location in their shopping mix,” added Stewart.
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