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5 Ways to Enhance Your Grocery Store’s Guest Experience

Learn from these tips to enhance grocery shoppers’ customer experience and top the list of their favorite grocery stores.

Making a trip to the grocery store to buy a week’s worth of groceries doesn’t usually make most consumers’ top ten list of fun things to do. And the last thing a customer buying only two or three items wants to do is wait behind a long line of customers with loaded carts.

However, there are several things your grocery store can do to make your customers’ shopping experience more pleasant and draw them back to your store once they start to prefer your store over those of your competitors.

Here are five tips for providing a grocery customer experience that draws consumers to your store, helps them get in and out when they’re in a hurry and prompts them to linger and browse when they’ve got time to explore.

1. Offer flexible delivery options

Today’s consumers expect speedy grocery services with multiple delivery options and a variety of flexible, convenient time slots, according to Codiant, a mobile app and web solutions provider. That’s why your grocery store or chain must offer consistency, convenience and an outstanding customer experience to compete effectively with other grocery stores.

Consumers who don’t typically work from nine to five — many in the service industry, for example — will often pay additional fees to choose the most preferable time slot for delivery. “Consider revolving your growth strategy around the neck of flexible delivery to expect better and proven results for the same, recommends Codiant.

2. Provide convenient, user-friendly self-checkouts

Many grocery shoppers who once shunned self-checkouts before the pandemic now prefer the self-service kiosks over face-to-face interaction from an overworked cashier. Not only can customers buying a small number of items skip long lines with self-serve checkout, they’ve also grown accustomed to the lower risk of breathing in flu and COVID viruses while they wait.

“Grocery stores also benefit by requiring fewer associates and less labor to provide checkouts,”  according to DCR, a supermarket, retail and restaurant sales and services technology provider.

“Instead, they can reassign associates to curbside pickups, deliveries, or mobile customer service where their human touch can play a crucial role. As a result, it can be a key differentiator in providing a superior shopping experience and resolving customers’ questions or issues.”

“It’s crucial to make the [self-checkout] experience as simple, intuitive, and frictionless as possible,” says DCR. The last thing a customer wants is to wait for an employee to notice the flashing light at their self-checkout kiosk while they must wait for assistance.

3. Schedule adequate staffing

“Customers don’t want to wait, according to grocery store mystery shopping provider Reality Based Group. “Make sure you are staffing correctly and utilizing a mix of self-checkout and traditional registers.

“Efficiency includes making sure your grocery store is clean and orderly. Cluttered aisles or messes on the ground slow customers down. Plus, it makes it look like you don’t care.”

4. Treat your employees right

The happier your employees are, the more likely they are to be friendly and helpful to your customers. To boost staff morale and train effectively, Reality Based Group recommends asking yourself the following questions:

  • Is the pay rate fair and at or above market competition?
  • Does your store offer a desirable benefits package?
  • What perks come with the job?
  • Do you offer an engaging training program?

“Happy employees work harder and go the extra mile,” says Reality Based Group. “Take steps to make sure they are satisfied.”

5. Host in-store events

Customers will look forward to coming to your grocery store if you regularly host fun events such as cooking classes, wine and cheese tastings and food sampling stations.

“Once people arrive, try to collect as much contact information as possible,” recommends Reality Based Group. “That way you’ll be able to send customers promotions, deals, and information about future events.

“Create ways to reward the people who show up for your events. It could be a small gift or a percentage off their next purchase. A reward, no matter the size, makes customers feel appreciated.”