Everything about American shoppers buying groceries is shifting because of inflation, including the stores they prefer, the brands they purchase, and how frequently they shop. We recently surveyed rural and metro areas consumers to best understand the current shopping behaviours and patterns amid rising inflation and expenses, making this the most detailed perspective on today’s buyers. And found that most people feel that their grocery shopping bills have altered in the past year, and shrinking of product size and rising cost as the primary reason for that.

However, vast results indicate steady growth, a nominal shift in preference, and promotion of reliance on digital, staffing, and technology challenges. Independent grocers can put strategies to increase their bottom lines thanks to these survey insights.

Most of the outcomes were what was anticipated, however, a few key findings stood out, including:

  • Shoppers still favor purchasing their groceries from the neighborhood store.
  • There were no discernable differences in the use of smartphones in rural and urban areas.
  • Shoppers consented that the shrinking of product sizes and the rise in prices are responsible for larger bills in the previous year.
  • Digital tools continue to dominate the industry, as consumers claim that these resources are essential to their continued store loyalty.

Yes, Shopper Preference Changed Again

The recent rise in in-store purchases allows traditional brick-and-mortar grocery stores to invest in long-term customer loyalty through digital transformation and techniques that offer the tailoring, value, and savings that price-conscious consumers demand, explained Rob Belcore, RSA America CCO and Co-Founder. 

While the data show how budget-conscious customers prioritize in-store trips owing to reward programs and digital discounts, they experienced changes in expenses last year. Grocers can’t alter the economy, but they can leverage cutting-edge retail technology and the right digital tools to encourage customer engagement, amplify supply chain management, increase foot traffic, increase basket sizes, and strengthen loyalty while securing a seamless connection between the digital and in-store experiences. It will allow them to capitalize on customer choice and increase profitability while steering inflation. 

Digital Again

While people believe shopping has changed, they are back to using the same tried-and-true means of selecting a most-used grocery store. That’s great news for independent groceries that are hesitant to make significant technology change. Ravi Anchata, CEO and Co-Founder of RSA America, agrees and explains, “What we’ve seen as we’re having these conversations with new and potential clients of ours is that we can achieve a lot by augmenting the technology they have in place already. Almost all the stores had a website and mobile offering. We’re asking them to consider leveraging these tools, not replacing them.


Given the current economic unpredictability, varying consumer behaviors will persist. How will you adjust—and adjust again—to properly serve these changing needs? On the other perspective, the supply chain, and workforce crisis remains and digital platforms expand, constraints on grocers’ technology and knack will keep growing.

Our survey uncovered the fact that most customers appreciate digital more than ever, ” Belcore continues. Where half of the respondents prefer using self-checkouts, picking phones for most of their purchasing, and are no longer shy to use digital coupons and rewards, this implies that independent grocers must establish and control digital customer relationships, modernize digital revenue streams, and leverage retail media to compete and keep a base of loyal customers.

We’re going to The NGA SHOW 2023 this week in Las Vegas. You can meet us at Booth 1449 to unlock strategies for implementing digital transformation to grow sales and foster loyalty. However, remember this: There’s more to adopting digitalization than simply utilizing the top tools and technologies. 

About RSA America

RSA America is the industry leader in offering independent grocers of all store sizes a robust retail solution. We empower Independent Grocers! Founded in 2014, RSA America provides cutting-edge technology and digital tools that promote engagement and allow grocers to hold those unique digital connections with customers. RSA’s digital platform, analytics tools, and media network enable retailers to accelerate sales and build loyalty while allowing brands to reach more shoppers and amplify campaigns with the power of data. Endowed by technology, marketing, and branding specialists, we spotlight customer behavior inside and outside the store.