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    Websites key to inspiring pork consumers: study

    One of the most powerful tools grocers have to connect with fresh pork customers isn’t in their stores – it’s their websites.

    That’s according to a recent survey conducted by the National Pork Board, which reveals that consumers are regularly using retailer websites to help them save money, plan their shopping trips and make purchase decisions at the meat case.

    The study, conducted in March, surveyed 1,000 primary shoppers who were also frequent users of grocery retailer websites to understand which aspects of those websites are most important to them. The purpose of the study was to help retailers better understand opportunities available via their websites and build more meaningful content about fresh meat on their websites. “Pork champions” accounted for 37 percent of the 1,000 primary shoppers.

    - 70 percent of respondents indicated they visit a grocery retailer website at least once a week.

    The pork urges retailers to seize this opportunity to reach customers while they are planning their shopping trips. Make websites as helpful as possible to ensure it adds value to the in-store shopping experience.

    - Consumers are visiting grocery retailer websites to find deals, specials and coupons.

    Use websites to promote featured items and meat case specials. Consumers continue to search for bargains in the current economic climate. Website content that is relevant, adds value beyond money savings and feels exclusive is most appealing to consumers. Think of ways to help consumers learn something or move out of their comfort zone in order to create a positive experience that is not driven by dollars alone.

    - Shoppers are looking for cooking/prep methods for individual cuts, recipes, and general information on a variety of cuts.

    Use websites to educate consumers about fresh pork, especially since many of them are researching information prior to their shopping trip. Include easy recipes, cooking methods and preparation tips. If customers know how to prepare a cut in advance, they are more likely to confidently purchase it.

    - Over 60 percent of respondents said they sometimes or always use mobile apps prior to going grocery shopping, however only 20 percent are using retailer-based apps. This means the majority are using third-party apps, even though just over 40 percent said that if their favorite retailer were to offer an app they would be interested in it.

    Shoppers use apps to help them make lists, find recipes, compare prices and just be more informed about their purchasing decisions. Help them shop more efficiently by integrating store information (sales, layouts, assortment, etc.) with their needs (lists, recipes, discounts, etc.).

    - Only one-quarter of respondents state they are visiting the fresh meat section of their grocery retailer’s website without prompting.

    Forty-four percent state they are visiting the fresh meat section of their grocery retailer’s website after they are prompted, with 87 percent of them visiting the fresh meat section more than once per month.

    A majority of shoppers that visit the fresh meat section of retailer websites do so on a regular basis. Connecting with customers via engaging and informative content on fresh meat web pages can be an effective marketing tool, along with in-store POS or weekly circular, in promoting fresh pork cuts.
     

    STUDY DEFINITIONS

    Primary shopper: Person solely responsible for the household grocery shopping or one who shares the responsibility for grocery shopping.

    Frequent user of grocery retailer websites: Person who visits a grocery retailer website more than once a month

    Pork champions: Men and women who are medium to heavy fresh pork users, meaning they serve fresh pork at least once every two week; they consume both chicken and beef at higher rates, indicating they like all meat; they are more likely over 35 years of age and under 65 years of age; they have children who are most likely older than 12 years of age, or are empty nesters; they hold either a four-year or associate college degree; yearly household income of $50,000 to 90,000; are social, outgoing and involved in the community; enjoy cooking and are confident cooking pork; share cooking tips with friends and neighbors; are willing to try new things in the kitchen even if they don’t work out; have a positive outlook on life and the future.
     

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