Research Shows Retailers Can Use Shopper Loyalty to Compete

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According to survey results previewed today at the FMI Midwinter Executive Conference by the Food Marketing Institute and analytics firm, Precima, shoppers rated loyalty toward their primary grocery store quite high (4 out of 5). However, the reality may be different if you look at shoppers’ behavior: Three out of five shoppers would shop at one store if they could have all their needs satisfied, 19 percent typically shop at only one store each week and only seven percent allocate more than 90 percent of their weekly grocery budget to their primary store.

Graeme McVie, Chief Business Development Officer at Precima, who is leading a session at the conference titled Next-Generation Loyalty: Get it Right in Food Retailing, reports, “Food retailers need to take a more holistic approach to loyalty than simply viewing it as the domain of the loyalty team.”

McVie continues, “Retailers will find success in looking at loyalty in 3D by strategically allocating resources to earn customer loyalty, by enabling daily decisions to be made that consistently satisfy shopper needs, and by delivering a meaningfully differentiated value proposition to shoppers through their loyalty programs.”

The survey of more than 3,000 shoppers and dozens of FMI member retailers, recommends that food retailers:

  1. Think of loyalty as a comprehensive strategy based on insights gained directly from the shopper.
  2. Consider loyalty as the outcome of daily decisions across pricing, promotions, assortment, space, marketing and store operations.
  3. Go beyond a two-tier price discount loyalty program and provide differentiated value to shoppers.

“The research confirms that shopper loyalty is not a traded commodity and needs to be earned through personalized experiences,” Pat Walsh, Senior Vice President for Industry Relations at FMI, says. “The good news is that food retailers are identifying ways to effectively compete in this new omnichannel environment, focusing as much on the fresh categories as the company dedicates to its online presence and ecommerce offerings.”

About FMI

Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry, which employs nearly 5 million workers and represents a combined annual sales volume of almost $800 billion. FMI member companies operate nearly 33,000 retail food stores and 12,000 pharmacies. FMI membership includes the entire spectrum of food retail venues; single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains, pharmacies, online and mixed retail stores. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education, health and wellness and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to almost 1,000 ­­­food retail and wholesale member companies and serves 85 international retail member companies. In addition, FMI has almost 500 associate member companies that provide products and services to the food retail industry.  For more information, visit and for information regarding the FMI Foundation, visit

About Precima

Precima is a global retail strategy and analytics company that provides tailored, data-driven solutions to drive sales, boost profitability, and build customer loyalty. Leveraging deep analytics expertise, Precima helps organizations improve their competitive position across all facets of planning and operations from pricing optimization, promotional planning, assortment optimization, targeted marketing, and supplier collaboration. Precima’s head office is located in Toronto, Canada, with global offices in Den Bosch, The Netherlands, Chicago, USA, and London, UK. In 2016, the company was named among the Top 10 Analytics Solution Providers by Retail CIO Outlook.