Industry Voices

How shopper trust varies by topic

Nothing is more vital to a relationship than trust. Retail Feedback Group's national study of supermarket shoppers, the 2014 U.S. Supermarket Experience Study, asked shoppers to rate their primary supermarket’s performance on a number of “trust issues.” The findings provide a perspective on shoppers’ level of confidence on these issues and the impact on their satisfaction and willingness to recommend their primary store.

Food safety
Shoppers rated their confidence in their primary supermarket offering food that is safe and follows all recommended food safety measures at an average of 4.17 on a five-point scale, where five is best. This high rating underscores the trust that the supermarket channel has earned in this critical area. Plus, shoppers who have a high level of confidence in food safety at their primary store are also more likely to recommend it and be satisfied with their trip. However, it is important to remember that food safety remains a very fluid metric that can quickly change based upon the incidence and magnitude of food recalls.

Credit/debit card data security
With the almost daily news of yet another data breach, the security of personal data remains a perpetual concern. Shoppers rated performance in this effort at an average of 3.83. Consumer trust in debit/credit card safety is directly related to willingness to recommend the store to others new to the area. The industry’s collective efforts in improving payment security and customer communications will be crucial to the level of confidence of shoppers.

Privacy/security of personal data from use by third parties
While on average shoppers rated their primary supermarket a 3.77, those shoppers who are “extremely confident” that their primary supermarket keeps their personal data private and secure from third-party use show a significantly higher likelihood to recommend the store and be highly satisfied with the trip.


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Further, when shoppers believe their personal data is safe, there is a greater openness to the idea of primary stores mining past purchase data and tracking their in-store location to provide relevant deals and savings. So as big data ramps up, it is paramount to provide shoppers with a sense of security that their personal data is safe.

Fair compensation for employees
Receiving an average rating of 3.76, only 24% of shoppers say they are “extremely confident” that their primary supermarket pays its employees a fair wage. Shoppers who are more likely to recommend their supermarket also have greater confidence that they pay fair wages.

GMO transparency
The lowest scoring area, transparency on GMOs registered an average score of just 3.52. As the debate on mandatory labeling continues, this figure can serve as a useful benchmark.

As you evaluate your business on these important factors, how much do your shoppers trust you?

Retailers can receive a free copy of the full study results by contacting Retail Feedback Group at [email protected]

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TAGS: Food Safety
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