How to adapt to changing customer behaviour

The betterRetailing team finds out how customer purchasing behaviour is changing and how retailers are adapting

Shopping trolley cart shopper aisle generic supermarket
Paul Thomas, One Stop Main Avenue Bridgend

“The feeling is that customers will shop little and often rather than doing big shops. Offers and promotions are more important to them than ever and as long as we’re able to keep offering good offers and low prices they’ll keep coming back. That’s true across all product categories as well.

“Over the past couple of months, we’ve gone much bigger on promotions than we used to because we know our customers will definitely take up the opportunity to get more for their money. We’ve got double packs of biscuits on at the moment and they’re going extremely well. Customers are almost stockpiling them a bit. When they see a promotion they buy extra because they know it won’t last forever.

“Although we used to shy away from directly comparing prices on our social media, we do now to try to show that our prices are lower.”

Suleman Khonat, Burnley Road News, Blackburn

“Over the pandemic, people were social distancing, wearing masks and ordering home delivery. While things are getting better now, a lot of people are still very reluctant to go back to ‘normal’ to an extent.

“There are customers who’ll look through the door and check how people are in the store before they come in. It’s no longer a straightforward thing for them to just walk into a shop. It used to be a very rare occasion, but there’s now a larger number of customers doing it.

“The weather will impact people’s behaviour this summer as well. If good weather can last then we’re in for a good time. We’ll keep our fingers crossed because I think good weather will do our customers’ mental health a lot of good, and it will also do our trading good as well. We need to encourage people to use their local shops.”

Phil Moutray, Wm Moutray & Sons, Dungannon,
Co. Tyrone

“People are doing fewer trolley shops and are preferring to come in with a basket every day or two to avoid wastage. We have fresh produce on the shelves and customers can buy what they need, not what they think they might need later on in the week.

“That’s bringing people away from the big supermarkets and it really works for convenience stores. People are spending less when they come in, but those people just keep coming back in.

“There’s been an increase in ready meals. Through Costcutter, we’re able to get really good deals where you can get chips, nuggets, ice lollies and some sides for £5. It’s about getting that in customers faces and then keeping it well stocked. There are also customers we have who want to prepare their meals from scratch and then it’s about having a good range of fruit and vegetables in stock for them.”

Read more advice for independent convenience retailers


This article doesn't have any comments yet, be the first!

Become a member to have your say