How to Survey Grocery Store Shoppers and Boost Retail Foot Traffic

woman at grocery store looking at lemons

Each week, US supermarkets host an average of 66-71 million shoppers with the nation’s top grocery chains accounting for over 48% of sales.

It is a highly competitive industry that leaves many local grocery stores to wonder how they can win business over other household name brands.

  • Who is your average shopper?
  • How do others in the community perceive your brand?
  • Is your advertising messaging memorable?

Surveying grocery store shoppers can provide data-driven answers to these questions.

As a result, supermarkets can improve marketing campaigns and increase foot traffic to your store.

For a real-world example, read the case study below of a California-based grocery store that partnered with our online survey company.

Download our Grocery Shopper Segmentation Report

grocery shopping report cta

Challenges of the Grocery Store

Trader Joe's, Wegmans, Whole Foods – these are grocery store brands that are household names. Many consumers choose to shop at these stores based on their positive perceptions alone.

However, for the case of local supermarkets, this magnitude of brand awareness and perception is not the same. Marketing teams are therefore tasked with creating effective advertising campaigns that will draw in shoppers.

For this reason, the Los Angeles-based supermarket needed data-driven consumer insights to learn about shopper behaviors and preferred advertising messaging.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Consumers everywhere can have their pick at many different grocery stores in their area. To become the top choice, it's important to understand the intimate factors of where your target demographic is shopping and why.

The Solution: Brand Equity and Campaign Evaluation Surveys

Learning the challenges of the supermarket, Drive Research recommended conducting a brand equity and campaign evaluation survey.

The market research would provide our client with baseline data to understand key performance indicators such as:

  • Unaided and aided awareness
  • Perceptions
  • Word associations
  • Consumer shopping behaviors
  • Purchase drivers
  • Differentiators for marketing messaging

Additionally, the survey will also specifically address the recall and impact of a 2-week ad campaign the California supermarket ran in May 2021 for Carne Asada.

The data and findings from the market research will provide the brand with unbiased, credible, and representative understandings of the markets.

The insights will fuel future marketing and advertising copy and design.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Whether it be in-store or online, conducting market research with grocery shoppers is highly effective. The insights gathered from these surveys are your best resource for establishing sales and marketing campaigns that will boost retail foot traffic.

The Approach: Surveying Grocery Store Shoppers

With every market research project, our team follows a streamlined approach that delivers fast, quality results.

The survey process often includes the following steps:

  • A detailed proposal that explains the project timeline, approach, and costs.
  • A kickoff meeting with your dedicated project team.
  • Survey design, programming, and testing.
  • Survey fieldwork, beginning with a soft launch to assure it is working as expected.
  • Survey analysis and reporting.
  • Project debrief meeting to review data and recommendations.

The supermarket wanted to survey grocery store shoppers within their store’s footprint such as Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Madera, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura counties.

The client also wanted a representative mix of Hispanic/non-Hispanic respondents, store locations/counties, and younger generations/older generations.

To recruit survey participants in the stated geographies, our online survey company utilized an email database of area respondents.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Drive Research follows a streamlined, yet proven approach to our online survey projects. We can have interviewers onsite or we can utilize geofencing technology to send the survey to your customer's mobile devices when they leave a store.

Example Survey Questions for Supermarket Shoppers

As a reminder, the grocery store client wanted to gain feedback on local shoppers’ awareness and perception of its brand. In addition, the supermarket wanted to use the survey to learn whether their recent marketing campaign was memorable.

Keeping these objectives in mind, Drive Research created a custom-written online survey.

The brand equity and campaign evaluation survey included various questions such as:

  • What is the first grocery store that comes to mind? Enter your response below.
  • Which of the following grocery stores are you aware of? Select all that apply.
  • [For stores aware of] What is your perception of the following grocery stores? Select Positive, Neutral, or Negative for each.
  • [If the perception of the Client is ‘Positive’ or ‘Negative’] Why is your perception of Client Name [Insert positive or negative]? Enter your response below.
  • Do you remember seeing any advertising for Client Name in the past 3 months? Select Yes, No, or Unsure.
  • [If recalls advertising] Where did you see or hear the advertising for Client Name? Select all that apply.
  • [If recalls advertising] What messages or topics do you remember from the advertisement(s)? Please be specific.

Results of the Brand Equity and Campaign Evaluation Survey

The key findings of the grocery store shopper survey remain confidential with the supermarket client.

However, the project’s stakeholders were happy to learn more about their brand’s awareness, perception, word associations, ad recall, and more.

The California-based supermarket received a comprehensive market research report from our team.

In the report, the client received a result scorecard, infographic, question-by-question breakdown of data, and action-driven recommendations.

Details of the grocery store market research included:

  • The survey took an average of 9 minutes to complete and included 38 questions.
  • The survey received 1,000 responses.
  • Fieldwork for the survey began on August 2 and lasted until August 16, 2021.
  • With a probabilistic sample, a total of 1,000 responses at the 95% confidence level offers a 3.1% margin of error.

For more beneficial types of market research, watch our video on 3 Market Research Options for Grocery Stores.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Surveying grocery store shoppers provides data-driven insights on local consumers’ awareness, perception, ad recall, and more. Partner with a market research company like Drive Research to learn what your options are to leverage these kinds of results.

Survey Your Grocery Store Shoppers with Drive Research

Drive Research is a national market research company that often partners with grocery and retail brands across the country. Our team provides a hands-on research approach to deliver quick, high-quality insights about today's consumers.

To learn more about our market research services, contact us today.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily carroll about the author

Emily Rodgers

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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