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Negative in-store experiences could cost food, retail brands: Survey

New research from Steritech finds the grocery store features most valued by consumers

Negative customer experiences could cost food and retail brands $200 billion per year, a new survey commissioned by food safety services company Steritech.

In a survey of 3,000 North American adults, the company examined what shoppers expect from convenience stores, grocery stores and other retail outlets they visit daily. 

Nearly three-quarters (74%) said they expect a brand to provide the same experience from one store to the next.

One in four respondents said they would visit a brand less frequently after one bad experience, while more than half (59%) will visit a location more frequently after a positive experience.

Online reviews provide an accurate representation of an establishment, according to 52% of consumers surveyed. The majority of consumers are more likely to post an online review about a positive experience (29%) than a negative one (23%).

Among the most valued grocery store features were food quality (60%), value (57%), product availability (56%), customer service/staff disposition (40%) and store appearance (35%).

Least valued features included app/mobile ordering (10%), bathroom cleanliness (13%), store design/organization (22%), physical safety (25%) and food taste (25%).

"Consumer experiences over the past few years have shifted as a result of world events, and with that comes the expectation of a seamless and consistent customer experience supported by strong brand values,” said Doug Sutton, president at Steritech, in a statement. “This study highlights the value of a positive interaction in a store which could lead to a happy customer and a supportive online review or social post that benefits the business, but the opposite can cause damage too, so the importance of getting it right every time is crucial.”

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