It would appear that in grocery retailing, the word ‘Value’ has come to mean price, cheap price, low price, special price, etc. But, what about another form of value? What about the ‘Benefits’ of shopping at a particular supermarket chain?
They have wonderful ranges of just about anything we could ever want to buy. Oh, but ranges are being slashed by as much as 30%.
But the big 4 supermarkets offer us the convenience of being able to buy everything we want under one roof. Ah, but now it’s about convenience, with shoppers wanting lots of little roofs nearer to them.
Never mind, the supermarkets can fall back on the fact that they offer the very best prices, after all, that’s what they've drilled into us for the last 40 years. But wait a minute, the discounters claim to be cheaper than the big 4 supermarkets.
So what to do?
Either the big 4 supermarkets can continue to bang the drum about offering low prices. Alternatively, the big 4 supermarkets can look at leveraging other forms of value. They could offer us a much more pleasurable shopping experience: No more queuing in a drab discounter and repacking our trolley in a race with the Olympic standard checkout operator. Instead, there could be the emotional engagement of a visit to the experiential retail space that could be the supermarket of the future: Not necessarily cheaper, but a whole lot nicer.
Imagine, shopping for a bottle of champagne for that special occasion in an area of the supermarket that emotionally shouts special occasion. How much nicer that would be than buying your Moet of the same type of aisle and fixture you get bleach from!
Or you could spend a little ‘me’ time in a health and beauty department that is more akin to a luxury retail environment and less like that same cream shelving that holds the bleach, but this time with lights on.
How about discovering new things to try and buy? Just like visiting a farmers market. You know, one of those places where the stall holders proudly display their wares experientially. More emotionally engaging than shopping a wall of yellow, pre-packed cheese or a similar pink wall of ham.
In summary, supermarkets offer great value, but perhaps they and we have forgotten what that value really is. Perhaps it's time they stopped obsessing about each other and started to pay more attention to shoppers: Those beings that pay all our wages at the end of the day. And let's go beyond just listening to claimed behaviour of shoppers and start to dig into what they really want from 21st century grocery retailers.
Because, if we don't and everyone only ever talks about price, and that's also the only message shoppers ever see and hear, then guess what, they’ll make their grocery decisions based on… …price.
Let's get emotion back into the supermarkets and make them nicer places to shop in: Between us, we can make it better fro our brands, better for our businesses and most importantly better fro shoppers and consumers