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    General Mills White Paper Reveals Shopper Loyalty Insights

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Retailers typically gauge shopper loyalty according to a shopper's purchase behavior -- defining shoppers who spend the most or shop with the most frequency as the most valuable. New insights presented in General Mills' groundbreaking study, "Best-In-Class Shopper Loyalty," however, reveal that emotionally loyal shoppers are crucial to driving traffic and increasing sales.

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Retailers typically gauge shopper loyalty according to a shopper's purchase behavior -- defining shoppers who spend the most or shop with the most frequency as the most valuable. New insights presented in General Mills' groundbreaking study, "Best-In-Class Shopper Loyalty," however, reveal that emotionally loyal shoppers are crucial to driving traffic and increasing sales.

    "By talking with 60,000 shoppers across 120,000 shopping trips and 50 markets, we developed insights about how shoppers actually feel about stores in comparison to each other, helping us pinpoint some focus areas critical to creating emotional shopper loyalty," said Adam Dill, category management director, in a new white paper released by General Mills. "The findings presented in 'Best-In-Class Shopper Loyalty' allow us to partner with retailers to understand how and why shoppers select stores and how they can drive business by building emotional loyalty."

    With increased competition and segmentation among grocery, discount, and wholesale outlets, securing emotional shopper loyalty ties closely to a retailer's ability to hold market share, according to the paper. General Mills' study found compelling insights about loyal shoppers. For example, they visit stores for reasons that transcend price and convenience; they are less deal-driven; and they are more likely to drive across town to shop at their favorite store or recommend that store to a friend. Financially, loyal shoppers bring consistent business to their favorite retailers by spending 30 percent more than other shoppers on each trip.

    Best-In-Class Shopper Loyalty uncovered that in order to attain shopper loyalty at the best-in-class level, retailers must meet shoppers' emotional needs, including elements such as trust, atmosphere, and feeling welcome and cared for in the store. Best-in-class retailers create connections with their shoppers across all of these elements through the following strategies:
    -- Focusing on a specific shopper
    -- Giving the store a local feel through community programs and customized store offerings
    -- Offering health solutions relevant to current health trends
    -- Executing the basics flawlessly
    -- Personalizing the store with excellent customer service

    General Mills commissioned the survey. The study based on those findings is a product from TNS.

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