ABa Pulse: Supermarket Focus

ABa Pulse: Supermarket Focus

A smile costs nothing: low prices and great service are no longer mutually exclusive.

It is not just a spot in the ‘Top 4’ for market share that Aldi can boast (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-62887477), but it also claims the top spot for service, achieving a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 51 and having the friendliest colleagues (alongside ASDA).

Rank Brand NPS Friendliness Needs met
1 Aldi 51 84% 84%
2 Asda 43 84% 89%
3 Waitrose 30 77% 85%
4 M&S 29 79% 80%
5 Co-op 24 79% 79%
6 Tesco 23 75% 79%
7 Sainsbury’s 19 75% 77%
8 Iceland 8 76% 71%
9 Lidl 7 72% 76%
10 Morrisons 7 72% 75%

Source: Pulse Data YE 31st August 2022, n=974

I was greeted outside by a colleague. The shelves were all full. A friendly colleague helped me unload onto the conveyor belt. Great friendly service. Who said discounters can’t do it?

In previous ABa Mystery Shopping research projects, Aldi has ranked 9th (2021, NPS = -28) and 8th (2020 NPS = -44) with the ‘high end’ supermarkets traditionally delivering a better level of customer service. The current cost of living crisis has driven more consumers to switch to the budget brands, and whilst customer expectations may be less in the ‘no frills’ supermarkets, Aldi have demonstrated that you can offer low pricing and great service, and in turn have secured their place as one of the UK leading supermarkets – not just for market share but for the CX too.

There will, of course, be a whole host of factors that impact whether customers would recommend a brand to friends and family, but it is evident that friendliness of staff is a key factor in the CX, with higher scores for ‘Friendliness’ correlating with a higher NPS.

Well-stocked shelves with just a few gaps. A colleague greeted me in the frozen aisle. Very friendly and patient checkout colleague.”

Consumers look for great service, competitive pricing, and quality products – and we are (typically) satisfied if we get 2 out of 3. We are prepared to pay more for a higher standard of service and accept that ‘no frills’ costs come with a reduced service offer. However, with Aldi raising the bar for service, the other supermarket brands need to re-focus on their service standards, elevating the CX in their stores to mitigate the higher price point of products, and in turn, ensure an industry leading CX is the principal pull factor for their customer base.

To find out more about our Mystery Shopping services and our full CX measurement suite, contact Danielle Sones, Experience Director (danielle@aba.co.uk / 0161 431 1221).

What is Pulse?

Our Pulse programme allows us to keep track of the Customer Experience across a wider range of industry sectors (https://pulse.myaba.co.uk/), with our UK wide Mystery Shopping team telling us about their experiences. It is a short survey giving us a snapshot of industry trends by capturing:

  • How likely they would be to recommend to friends & family (NPS) (What is NPS?)
  • How friendly the colleagues were
  • If the customer’s needs were met