For the seventh time in nine years, discount grocer Aldi has claimed the Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers Award for 2019, with value for money, Special Buys and Super Savers making it a firm favourite with shoppers.
Metcash-owned IGA came in second place in this year’s survey, earning the only five-star review for customer service, something that was highlighted recently at an awards ceremony for its independent retail owners.
Coles and Woolworths scored identical star ratings across all categories in the survey with top marks for variety of products, while both fell down on customer service and accessibility of staff. Last month, Woolworths announced a restructure of its store operating model, to put a greater focus on fresh food, convenience and customer service, resulting in some roles being made redundant.
Interestingly, Aldi was the only retailer to get five stars for the quality of its private labels, something that Australians may have doubted when the retailer first set up shop here in 2001.
Foodland has been the only supermarket chain to stop Aldi in Canstar Blue’s annual survey, taking the top spot in 2013 and 2017, but this year the South Australian retailer fell to fifth place.
It rated the highest for store layout and presentation but scored lower on deals available and quality of private label products.
Aldi scored five stars for overall customer satisfaction, value for money, Special Buys and Super Savers, quality of exclusive brand products and food freshness, helped by investments to improve the freshness of its fruit, vegetables and meat in recent times.
Oliver Bongardt, managing director of corporate buying at Aldi Australia said the retailer’s aim is to “always exceed the expectations” of shoppers.
“The reason why Australians choose to shop with us remains the same. We are the leader on price, continuing to save shoppers money while offering the highest quality products. It is a proud moment for us to be recognised for these efforts,” Bongardt said.
Canstar Blue’s research also uncovered the key drivers for satisfaction among consumers with 22 per cent saying value for money was their top priority. Consumers also rated freshness of produce as important (17 per cent), followed by customer service and staff accessibility (15 per cent) and store layout (14 per cent).
Deals, variety of products and quality of private label products fell further down the priorities list for consumers.
The survey also found that Australian shoppers are creatures of habit, with 28 per cent of consumers choosing to stick to the same supermarket, despite one in five thinking they could save money by shopping elsewhere.
Convenience was the key driver for shopping at the same retailer, followed by familiarity to store layout and membership to a rewards scheme. Surprisingly, just 37 per cent said that they continued to shop at the same retailer because they think it is the cheapest.
Canstar Blue found that long queues and unavailable items caused the most frustration for consumers when completing their grocery shopping.