Supermarkets Beat Amazon in Customer Satisfaction for Online Shopping: Study

Grocers are benefiting from their investments to improve e-commerce capability
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Feedback Group
Grocery stores came in first for customer satisfaction when it comes to online shopping experiences, according to Feedback Group.

Food retailers are doing a pretty good job in the e-grocery space, according to the group that arguably matters the most: consumers. A new study from The Feedback Group found that traditional grocery stores rank highest for online food shopping satisfaction, topping e-comm giant Amazon and mass merchandiser sites.

According to that research, grocers came in with an overall satisfaction rating of 4.40/5.0. Amazon scored a 4.30 and mass merchandisers including Walmart and Target netted a 4.26 score. Further down the list were value stores (4.11), club stores (3.99) and dollar stores (3.90).

The results show that grocers’ efforts in the omnichannel are paying off, researchers said. “The study findings emphasize the strong performance of supermarkets and Amazon in providing customers with a satisfying online food shopping experience. Mass retailers also demonstrate strong customer satisfaction levels. In contrast, value-oriented, club and particularly dollar stores lag behind in satisfying consumer needs, with the results revealing a clear distinction between the top and bottom performers,” said Brian Numainville, a principal with The Feedback Group. “Supermarkets clearly have benefited from their investments in online food shopping capability improvements over the last several years.”

There are some areas of improvement and opportunity for grocers with a robust digital presence, the study found. In a high-price environment, customers rated fair pricing 4.02/5.0 and gave a lower 3.84 mark for confidence in item availability, underscoring the still-thorny issue of out-of-stocks. Shoppers also gave fresh produce the lowest confidence in quality, even though that category leads digital fresh purchases.

Overall, the e-grocery experience is a bit different for various consumer bases, according to the research. Although young consumers are digital natives and frequent e-commerce customers, they tend to be less satisfied with online grocery shopping. Millennials gave online grocery shopping experiences a 4.10/5.0 while Gen Z scored this type of e-commerce a 3.95. Baby Boomers were the most satisfied, followed by Gen X consumers.

From a location perspective, urban shoppers typically buy groceries online more, with 54% ordering items fulfilled by third-party providers such as Instacart, DoorDash and Shipt. In contrast, two-thirds of consumers in rural communities use pickup services and 60% say they are not planning to increase their digital shopping.

“These results should motivate grocers to keep innovating when it comes to their online shopping experience. Younger consumers – our future core customers – are active on so many digital platforms, e-commerce and otherwise, resulting in higher expectations than those of older shoppers,” pointed out Doug Madenberg, chief listening officer of The Feedback Group.

Study methodology: Research was conducted with 1,000 online food shoppers of various ages about their experience shopping for food and groceries.

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