Traditional supermarkets top other grocery channels in a number of areas, including overall satisfaction, according to a new study.

On a 5-point scale, traditional supermarkets scored a 4.31, Aldi 4.27 and Walmart 3.93 in overall satisfaction in the Lake Success, New York-based Retail Feedback Group’s 2019 U.S. Supermarket Experience Study.

Supermarkets also have the highest scores in quality and variety.

While traditionals won in the overall ranking, quality and variety, Aldi garnered the top score in “value for money spent” and for overall satisfaction during the peak traffic hours of 3 to 7 p.m. — 4.3, vs. 4.27 for supermarkets and 3.98 for Walmart.

Supermarket shoppers rated quality/freshness of the food and groceries (4.44), cleanliness of the store (4.42) and item variety and selection (4.38) as the strongest core experience factors. Associate friendliness, while the highest service rating, received a more moderate score of 4.32, followed by checkout speed/efficiency (4.28), associate helpfulness/knowledge (4.24) and the lowest scoring service area - associate availability - (4.17).  Service is a critical factor given that overall satisfaction is significantly higher when service attributes receive stronger scores.  

Tied for the lowest score among all core experience factors, value for the money spent registered 4.17. Looking at specific price attributes, the results show produce prices (3.99), meat/poultry prices (4.00) and everyday prices (4.01) all received low scores in the supermarket channel, while advertised sales items scored much higher (4.34). This is an important strength, as 73% of shoppers refer to one or more advertising/sales vehicles – traditional, social, mobile and digital – before or during the visit.  

"Value still remains a very important consideration for supermarket retailers with more than seven out of ten shoppers referring to sales vehicles before or during the visit to the store,” says Brian Numainville, Retail Food Group principal. “While supermarkets receive the lowest scores on value for money spent, the good news is that advertised specials register as the strongest scoring pricing factor for supermarkets.”