Grocery Store Appearances Matter to Shoppers

Despite the additional perks a store might offer, basics such as store cleanliness and eye-catching signage most impact customer impressions.

For its new research, Innovation Trends, Attitudes and Opportunities, IDDBA commissioned Datassential to explore consumer attitudes and interest in various forms of innovation.

A key insight from the report is that for today’s grocery shoppers, it’s less about the specific, individual items or technological perks and more about the total collective experience. While it might seem obvious that appearances matter, a deeper look shows how small innovative elements, together, can affect consumer impressions and purchase decisions at the grocery store.

Environmental factors, such as lighting, color, equipment, and product placement can demonstrate a store’s personality and help to form a consumer’s first impression. For example, energy-saving appliances and LEED building certification shows shoppers that the store is environmentally responsible. Innovation is important, but don’t forget the basics. A dirty or unkempt store is a major turnoff.

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Many of the consumers surveyed invoked cleanliness as a differentiating characteristic of their favorite grocery stores.

Often overlooked or underestimated, signage is another way to communicate with shoppers. An eye-catching sign with appealing photography and a clear message is helpful to consumers. However, a carelessly designed sign makes it harder to sell even a great product and may give shoppers a poor impression of the product itself.

Similarly, packaging can be a purchase driver. Seventy-three percent of all consumers surveyed agreed that “green” (recyclable, biodegradable, etc.) packaging materials are at least somewhat important. Eleven percent went a step further saying that they abort purchases if they think the packaging is excessive or non-recyclable/biodegradable.

Combining these elements into a well-developed platform for promoting new foods and enhancing the overall shopping experience can have a positive impact in increasing shopper purchases and visits.