The world of retail has changed; consumers have become more discerning and more demanding, with technology now playing an increasingly important role in the way we shop. A study at the end of last year revealed that 97% of British shoppers take their smartphone with them as they peruse the stores, while 85% of smartphone owners in the UK are using retail apps. When you throw in the advances of online shopping, it’s easy to see why the way consumers engage with and buy goods has changed irrevocably over the past decade.
But in the food retail industry, are supermarkets keeping up with the changing demands of consumers and delivering a level of service that satisfies shoppers? That’s exactly what Ubamarket wanted to find out – so we commissioned an independent survey of over 2,000 UK consumers to explore what they thought about the food buying experience, both in supermarkets and online. The results, which are today published in our new report ‘Reviving Retail 2016’, were remarkable:
- 66% of Britons said they were dissatisfied with the in-store supermarket shopping experience – equating to 33.6 million frustrated shoppers across the country
- The main frustrations among supermarket shoppers were long queues (cited by 35% of Britons) and struggling to find items (15%)
- Meanwhile, 71% of the UK’s online food shoppers are unhappy with the quality of service they receive – not being able to select produce (38%) and receiving unwanted replacement items (29%) were the main frustrations
- The result is that 27% of respondents – equating to 12.4 million people in the UK – said they have reduced the frequency with which they visit the supermarket or buy food online
- 30% of Britons said grocery shopping is one of the most inconvenient things they have to do each week, while 28% said it was their least favourite shopping experience
With over a quarter of shoppers cutting down the frequency with which they buy food, supermarkets must act fast to keep consumers satisfied and coming back for more. Indeed, the findings are even more important as they come hot on the heels of new data from market researchers Kantar Worldpanel, which revealed that all four of the UK’s ‘big four’ supermarkets saw sales decrease in the 12 weeks to 14 August 2016. The message is clear: the times are changing and food retailers have to keep up!
So what’s the answer? Well, in the survey Britons were asked if they would embrace a solution that combines the benefits of in-store and online food shopping – a resounding 69% said yes. This figure increases further to 82% among shoppers aged 18-34.
The Ubamarket app brings together the benefits of in-store supermarket shopping – such as being able to select your own items and browse the shelves – with the convenience and efficiency of online food shopping. By making the trip to the supermarket a breeze and encouraging footfall in-store, Ubamarket empowers both the shopper and the retailer by promising to change the face of food shopping forever.