Retailers and shoppers have had a challenging time over the last two years, and now hyperinflation adds to the woes. Food prices in the United States increased 11.9 percent over the previous year in May, according to data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the highest 12-month increase since the year ending April 1979. When you couple this with supply chain delays and increased gas prices, US shoppers are getting hit hard and facing a huge burden that has to be considered when strategizing about their buying experience. 

The doom of rising prices

Grocers initially struggled to understand how consumers would react to rising inflation, but now they can rely on their data. Deals still rule the day. Consumers will always make attempts to purchase their preferred-label products at lower prices. Supply chain constraints and rising prices are not going anywhere soon, and we are mindful that every consumer wants to save more and more dollars.

Target and Walmart are two such examples of big-box retailers who have lost their ground too. It was practically impossible for them to forecast the existing situation, as they are significantly different from the retailers they were two years ago. However, now they have the requisite inventory in position. Both stores count on the promise of value in their brand promise to consumers. However, they are doing business in an era of rising prices, watching competitors doing the same but struggling to keep their shelves stocked with the most demanded products while storing flat inventory.

Independent Grocers are winning this battle

Shoppers are more price-sensitive, but their purchasing patterns are changing, despite months of growing costs. We are still seeing gains in pre-packaged meal kits and delivery. Independent grocers need to demonstrate their value to shoppers beyond pricing by finding the areas ripe for opportunity. Independent grocers have the upper hand. They are known for their strong ties to local communities and can deliver personalized assistance and consumer experiences. Grocers can promote their e-commerce services. Shopping online from their favorite store will help shoppers keep track of their grocery list and spending budget and, ultimately, get exclusive deals, allowing them to stretch their budget further. Additionally, pushing digital coupons enables customers to save money online and in-store while sustaining the store’s exclusivity, which is a less costly way to maintain customer relationships.

Maintaining Loyalty  

The relationship between customers and stores is dynamic because grocers are consistently evolving. What has changed? We cannot claim that the relationship between the shopper and the grocery store is straightforward. After the pandemic, no one is buying from a single store. To build and maintain consistent engagement, independents need to offer great value to win loyalty from their shoppers. Even during inflationary times, they must keep their consumers first by intensifying their segmentation approaches.  

To be at the top of your shopper’s mind, make it simple for them to engage with you from their smartphones. They should feel that their favorite store is a tap away. Have convenience as the top priority, and offer the finest deals and discounts for all segmented groups to drive the volume of sales. Ultimately, customers won’t leave as long as you master the art of tailoring value. 

Grocers are leveraging the power of data to maintain loyalty. They know their shoppers from the first moment they enroll in the store loyalty program. That data helped categorize shoppers’ types, spending patterns, product preferences, etc., and assisted stores in engaging them with more deals and discounts. Eventually, this turns out to be a more personalized procedure and therefore reinforces the relationship. 

In providing the appropriate deals to the relevant customers on time, RSA America effectively exposes information on consumer behavior both inside and outside of the store. Independent grocers can build enduring relationships with customers by employing our digital knacks to engage customers through targeted marketing, shopper data analytics, and digital couponing promotion techniques.