The grocery shopping experience has changed over the years. Shoppers once compiled a list, went to the store, loaded up their cart, and were mostly done for the week.
Now consumers are likely to mix grocery shopping with the purchase of apparel, electronics, jewelry, and household goods at stores like Target, Walmart, and Kroger Marketplace.
They might even go to the grocery store, not to buy dinner, but to have dinner. In Chicago, WBBM-TV reports “grocerants,” where consumers can purchase and consume quality prepared food, allowing shoppers to mix stocking up on groceries with dining out.
SupermarketGuru.com recently surveyed consumers on the top 10 changes they've noticed and most appreciate at their neighborhood supermarket.
No, it doesn't work perfectly every time, but consumers obviously don't like standing in line, especially when they only have a few items.
Online ordering, in-store pick-up
Consumers ranked this service high on the list because they like having someone else do the shopping for them. All they have to do is show up at the appointed time and their groceries are placed in their car.
What's better than having someone else do your shopping for you to pick up? How about having it delivered to your home? Look for more stores to start offering this service.
High quality prepared food
Consumers like the fact that supermarkets have healthy and tasty meals already prepared, making dinner a breeze. It's just as easy and a lot healthier than the drive-thru at a fast-food restaurant.
Consumers want more information about food and more stores are obliging by hiring dietitians. These nutrition professionals are available to answer consumers' questions and recommend healthy food products.
Barcoding for faster check-out
Electronic scanning at check-out has been around for a long time and is now the norm. But plenty of consumers can remember when it wasn't. It shows up on the list of things about supermarkets that consumers appreciate.
Local and organic products
Consumers increasingly want locally-sourced food, and stores that provide it are earning their loyalty. At the same time, consumers say they appreciate the growing number of organic products that are available.
Stores within the store
Consumers are busier than ever, and when they can do different types of shopping, and even banking, at the supermarket, they like it. Walmart and Target have been providing this for years, but now supermarkets are joining in.
The world has gone digital and consumers like it when their supermarket joins the parade. They say they like the convenience offered by apps and the information provided on up-to-date websites.
Allergen free sections
Food allergies are a growing concern. Consumers like it when a supermarket groups allergen free products in sections that are clearly marked with shelf tags.