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In-Store Experience Key for Grocery Shoppers

NEW YORK — The in-store shopping experience can make or break grocery-shopper loyalty, according to a new study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

While 37% of respondents in PwC’s Experience Radar 2013 — Grocery Industry study cited price as the top influencer when deciding where to shop, convenience was not far behind at 28%. And the largest component of convenience is fast checkout, which accounted for 30% of “memorable great experiences” in the grocery store.

On the other hand, rude employees accounted for 28% of “bad memorable experiences” in the grocery store.

“High-quality customer experience is a defining feature for shoppers at grocery stores,” the report states. “When they can afford it, customers are willing to pay a premium for well-trained and attentive staff who know the store well.”

Interestingly, grocery shoppers are less likely to complain about their bad experiences to company management than shoppers for other goods and services. Almost half — 46% — of grocery shoppers do not report bad experience to their grocers, vs. 24% of banking customers who do not report bad experiences and 21% of media/communications customers.

Grocery shoppers are willing to share bad experiences with their friends, however — 92% said they do so, and about 1/3 of shoppers will share their bad-experience tales for six months or more.

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