The only thing Brits love more than a supermarket is discussing their favourite supermarket. From Tesco to Sainsbury’s, the nation is divided when it comes to which grocery shop is best.
The small business experts at Bionic wanted to find out once and for all which British grocery chain tops the ranking when it comes to customer loyalty, by analysing metrics such as the YouGov BrandIndex, social media, and search demand data.
Brand loyalty plays a massive role in how businesses survive through times of economic crisis, as people often leave their repurchased favourites for cheaper alternatives as pursestrings tighten. Supermarkets are not exempt from this, despite their necessity in our day-to-day lives.
In fact, search demand for “cheapest supermarket uk” racks up 14,800 Google searches every month as Brits look to find out where their money will go the furthest. On top of this, customers are realising loyalty can pay, as searches for “best supermarket loyalty scheme” have increased 400% since 2022.
Waitrose ranks top for British brand loyalty
Waitrose ranked very highly thanks to its stellar reputation for both the quality of its product and excellent customer service
Despite the high prices and reputation of being “posh”, the cost of living crisis doesn’t seem to impact Waitrose’s loyal customers, scoring a high score of 64.4 out of 100 in the brand loyalty index. Waitrose ranked highly with a brand awareness score of 88.5 and a very high brand impression score of 2.72.
Despite having just over half the number of followers parent company John Lewis, Waitrose has a much higher engagement rate across social media, at 0.25% compared to John Lewis’ 0.07%.
Tesco ranks in second place thanks to the Clubcard
British staple Tesco ranks as the second most popular supermarket amongst UK shoppers with an index score of 52.25.
The chain, which as of 2021 bosts 4,673 locations alongside their online store, proves extremely popular amongst shoppers. According to Statista, almost half (48%) of all online grocery delivery users in fact use Tesco.
How do supermarkets compete for your loyalty?
Glyn Britton, Chief Customer Officer from Bionic comments on how supermarkets are prioritising customer loyalty now more than ever:
“All supermarkets want to become a customer’s go-to place to pick up their daily essentials, and ultimately people are going to return most often to their favourite establishment, which can depend on a number of different factors. Of course, for many people price plays a large role in where they shop.
“Tesco has certainly acknowledged this with their loyalty scheme offering ‘Clubcard prices’ on many products. However, convenience also plays a massive role in customer choice. Ultimately customers are most likely to shop at their closest store, meaning shops with the most and best-situated locations will find it easier to attract these ‘convenience customers’.
“However, Waitose’s high brand loyalty shows, quality and public perception can help boost your perception despite high prices. This is because the brand can be seen as aspirational, customers are less sensitive to price and are not just buying a product but an experience they’re willing to invest in.”