Sir, Supermarkets can deploy nudge techniques to influence what customers buy. For example, by encouraging shoppers to pick moderately expensive items by listing extremely expensive options, changing their frames of reference. This shifts people from picking the cheapest item to the best value item, often the middle-value choice.
Where an item sits will also provide social norms. If items are in prominent positions it not only makes them easier to find, but it suggests they are popular with others.
Finally, shoppers are unconsciously influenced by lots of environmental factors supermarkets control, including music. One study found that if French music is played during wine shopping, 77% buy French wine. If German music is playing, 73% buy German wine.
Will Hanmer-Lloyd, head of behavioural planning, Total Media
Action on sustainability
Sir, I was delighted to read your article about BEIS’ scheme to develop more sustainable packaging alternatives (thegrocer.co.uk, 22 June). It is great to see the government taking action, and this significant investment is bound to encourage businesses to consider the impact of their products and help develop more environmentally friendly solutions.
As a manufacturer of the UK’s first easily recyclable coffee cup made from recycled paper, the Frugal Cup, I welcome initiatives in support of moves towards a circular economy. While our product is not designed to be compostable, it starts life from 96% recycled paper and we are in the process of looking at improving its liner by using recycled or renewable materials, so this scheme could be enormously beneficial to the planet.
Malcolm Waugh, CEO, Frugalpac
Tech for engagement
Sir, With grocers rated lower than other retailers in the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index and only one (online) grocer making it to the top 10 (Ocado at number six) - it’s clear more can be done to drive continued footfall and repeat purchases.
Despite recent pressures facing department stores, Debenhams and John Lewis seem to be faring well - coming in at two and four respectively - following recent investment in their in-store experiences.
Grocers that succeed in elevating the weekly shop beyond a chore will create a more committed customer who we know is looking for a more leisure-based in-store experience.
Technology in particular can increase engagement, be that interactive screens and RFID kiosks to showcase products, sustainability credentials, healthy eating advice or inspiring recipes; to devices that empower staff to become experts able to meet shoppers’ needs at the touch of a button.
Linda Ralph, VP of international business development, Mood Media