How do you choose what grocery store to buy your groceries from?
Do you pick the closest to your house? The cheapest? The one with the shortest lines? The one with the healthiest options?
I live in Blacksburg, Virginia, and I’ve got plenty of choices. I can go to Kroger, Food Lion, or to a health food store like Eats or Annie Kay’s. I could also drive a little further and shop at Walmart.
I have to consider my diet when I’m picking a grocery store, because only certain stores carry the vegan and gluten-free ingredients that I need. One might think that I do most of my shopping at the health food stores in our area, but that’s not the case.
Don’t Copy This
My husband and I do most of our grocery shopping at Kroger. Not the Kroger closest to our house—the Kroger on the other side of town. I say the other side of town like it’s a 30 minute drive, but it only takes 10 minutes to get there. The difference between these two stores is BIG. The one that we drive an extra five minutes to get to is much bigger, has more gluten-free and vegan options, has much better customer service, and seems cleaner.
It’s like walking into two completely different places. This isn’t something you should copy. You always want your customer to have a good experience with your company whether they order from you when you’re super busy during the holidays or when you’re super slow during the summer. Otherwise, you lose trust and it’s hard to gain trust back once you’ve lost it.
Even though the Kroger near our house turns me off, I still shop at the other Kroger first. Then, I head to the health food store to pick up the stuff that Kroger doesn’t sell such as delicious gluten-free, vegan ciabatta rolls that rock my world. Don’t get me wrong—I love my health food stores, but they don’t have as many options as Kroger.
I shop at the farther Kroger for many reasons, but one reason that I continue to love Kroger is that they reward loyal customers. One holiday they sent a fruit basket. Another holiday they sent a gift card. And, last week they did something that compelled me to write this blog post. They sent a booklet of coupons.
At first, this doesn’t sound like anything extraordinary. How often do you get coupons from stores? All the time? Me, too. What made this extraordinary is that the coupons were handpicked for us. Every coupon in the book was for something that we buy regularly. This really stood out to me, because my husband and I rarely find coupons that we can actually use since we’re vegan and gluten-free. We can’t comb through the Sunday paper and prepare our meals according to what’s on sale and what we find coupons for which makes me incredibly jealous of the Extreme Couponing people.
I love to save money and use coupons. I grew up in a household of clipping coupons. I remember my mom and dad sitting at the kitchen table cutting out coupons, organizing them in an accordion folder, and planning the grocery list around them. Getting this customized booklet of coupons made me feel special. It made me feel like someone was paying attention, and it made me even more loyal to Kroger.
I’m not suggesting that you send your customers customized coupons. Instead, I’m suggesting that you pay attention to your customers and try to make them feel special at every opportunity. It’s more than worth your time and effort.