In the competition for shoppers, many supermarkets have taken to offering extreme price-cutting deals. Despite the popular opinion that Brits are penny pinchers, new research from TCC Global released last month revealed price is not a deal-breaker when it comes to supermarket store choice. The deciding factor is, in fact, the location of the store.

While many may believe that online is winning in the brick-and-mortar vs. e-commerce race, 89% of purchases are still made in physical locations. Research from xAd’s 2016 Global Mobile Path to Purchase report shows that 47% of UK customers still make trips to physical stores in addition to research they have done on mobile. This means that supermarkets have ample opportunity to attract consumers.

Consumers in charge

We know that over half (56%) of shoppers researching on their mobile make purchase decisions immediately or within an hour. For those looking for something to eat or drink, 77% want to find somewhere within the hour and 20% expect these places to be within walking distance. This shows once again that location is a key factor for shoppers when making a purchase.

Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Just Eat and other location-based mobile apps have truly revolutionised customer expectations and demands, especially when it comes to getting their hands on food fast. The success of such apps may be the catalyst for grocery stores to step up and give what their customers want most – an enjoyable customer experience.

By adopting location-based technology, supermarkets can connect the online and offline worlds and reach people in the moments that matter. With timely, contextualised and consistent messages, grocery stores can deliver the local experience consumers crave.

Path to purchase

Consumers today now go through a more fragmented path to purchase. We may use our mobiles, our PCs and then visit stores when researching a product. However, it’s fair to say that location tells a far more accurate tale of the consumer behaviour that drives a sale than online behaviour. If I look up supermarkets in East London, I may not be looking to visit one, I may be considering moving to the area and wanting to see what stores are available nearby. However, if I visit the same supermarket every day before work, I am likely to be interested in targeted advertising for that particular store.

Grocery stores should be utilising this information to their advantage and using location as a true indicator of intent, allowing them to target their audience more effectively.

More than marketing fuel

Location intelligence offers grocery stores so much more than insights for marketing campaigns – it can be used to provide wider business direction. For example, if footfall suddenly drops in a grocery store; a retailer may not be able to tell where their lost consumers have gone. With location insights, they can see if there has been a shift in footfall from their store to a competitor’s. This information is invaluable as it allows grocery stores to make tactical decisions about how to win back their customers. 

These statistics show that location is hugely important in understanding consumer behaviour. All grocery stores generally offer a similar range of products, but their location is an important differentiator. Focusing on this and developing a location intelligence strategy that uses digital insights and communication to drive consumers in store will be critical for supermarkets this year.