Consumers today expect highly personalised experiences and can be put off by messages that are not helpful or relevant to their particular needs. They want to buy from innovative companies who create better experiences tailored to their preferences and previous behaviour.
While grocery has often been a leader in data and personalisation, too often the focus has been on advertising rather than creating genuinely valuable consumer experiences. Often the fear of user backlash over how we use personal data can also put us off creating more personalised experiences.
To keep up with ever-changing expectations and stay a step ahead, food companies need to guess a consumer’s needs before they arise and those who do are set will be the ones who win over the next 5 years.
76% of customers said they expect companies to understand their needs and expectations, according to the Salesforce State of the Connected Customer Report. Luckily, 59% of consumers are also happy to share their personal information for more personalised experience, according to the same report.
Personalised recommendations are not news. YouTube is recommending which songs we should listen to next, Spotify is creating playlists based on songs we enjoyed in the past, what day of the week it is or time of day, Amazon is letting us know which books we might like based on what’s in our cart, but we feel frustrated if the recommendations feel impersonal.
To be precise, 71% of consumers feel this frustration based on Personalisation Report by Segment.
In a society with a unique sense of self, search with the term “for me” is growing exponentially and food companies are looking for ways to create food recommendations that will not let the consumer down.
Grocery retailers have recognized the need for creating personalised shopping experiences as well, but are still struggling to implement every step of a connected and delightful consumer journey.
Leveraging both the data provided by the consumer and past purchase behaviours can help grocery retailers deliver more personalised and meaningful shopping experiences, thus increasing customer loyalty and basket size.
Why Consumers Expect Personalisation from Grocery Retailers
From inspiration to product purchase, grocery shoppers expect personal recommendations. Constant decision-making, meal planning, and swapping ingredients for the best option available is leaving consumers frustrated.
1. Too Many Decisions They Have To Make
From meal planning to grocery shopping, there are a number of decisions people have to make every day. Meal planning and finding the right recipes that are tailored to their diet, to their children’s preferences or their spouse’s allergy avoidances is a time-consuming activity.
By offering personalised product recommendations to their consumers based on the previous purchase behaviour, grocers can help consumers reach better decisions without much effort.
Connecting experience from inspiration to purchase and personalising that experience is what helps consumers enjoy their grocery shopping and retailers who own more of that journey are seeing an increase in customer loyalty.
2. It’s A Predictable, Boring Task
Meal planning and grocery shopping can be a predictable and boring task if done the same way over and over again. An average person cooks the same number of recipes each week. If there is no helping hand to lead them through this tedious task, consumers tend to make poor food decisions along the way and stick to the same products they’re used to.
The better and the more varied the recommendation, the more likely it is that the consumer will keep coming back for more inspiration and shopping.
3. No Replacement For Sold Out Items
When items are sold out, grocery retailers don’t have a ready replacement to recommend to the already frustrated consumer.
Instead of driving the consumer to a different grocery store, retailers should have a system in place that would allow them to recommend the next best thing and save the purchase for their grocery store.