The grocery retailers with the highest overall customer preference index scores are:
2. Trader Joe’s
4. Market Basket
5. Wegmans Food Markets
8. Sam’s Club
11. WinCo Foods
12. Fresh Thyme Farmers Market
13. Sprouts Farmers Markets
For the third year in a row, price and quality remain the two most important customer needs that retailers must meet, and form what Dunnhumby calls the “value core.” This core has the largest impact on retailer financial performance and customers’ emotional bond with retailers. Price and quality account for half of retailer performance, but other areas, which Dunnhumby refers to as “value amplifiers,” account for the other half and include digital, operations, convenience, speed, and elements of loyalty programs such as discounts and rewards.
The top retailers for each of the seven pillars evaluated were:
- Price: Aldi
- Quality: Wegmans
- Digital: Amazon
- Operations: H-E-B
- Convenience: Walmart
- Discount, Rewards, Information: Fry's
- Speed: Amazon
Retailers that ranked in the top quartile have a secure value core, but then drive further differentiation through strategic decisions around value amplifiers, according to Dunnhumby. A retailer can withstand a poor performance on value amplifiers, but it can’t let the core suffer. Conversely, retailers in the bottom half of the ranking tend to be highly promotional, with poor price perception. Beyond base price and promotion, Dunnhumby asserts that low-ranked retailers aren’t appropriately managing areas such as private brand, assortment relevance, rewards programs and store experience.
Because the study is now in its third year, Dunnhumby is able to observe notable shifts in the importance of the value core relative to other value amplifiers. For example, in the original report, in 2017, the core of price and quality accounted for 72% of a retailer’s overall ranking, but in 2019, the core is down to 50% of the overall score. As value amplifiers have gained in importance, two in particular stand out: Convenience and speed have increased their impact on financial performance and emotional bond, accounting for 4% of total impact in 2017 and 17% in 2019.
The complete Retailer Preference Index is available from Dunnhumby online.