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Facing rising costs and shrinking margins, finding new revenue streams should be an urgent priority for grocery retailers the world over. Blessed with volumes of valuable customer data and a rich menu of owned media, this unbeatable combination provides enormous scope for creating sustainable growth. Yet so many grocery retailers are struggling to make this a reality.

To better understand why so many retailers aren't taking advantage of new revenue streams while improving the shopping experience for their customers, we commissioned a global study with Forrester Consulting. Download your complimentary copy of Forrester's research to learn about the barriers holding retailers back from revenue generation and the recommendations to overcome the challenges.


Key findings

  • 85% of grocery retailers have identified creation of new revenue streams as a priority for 2020
  • Despite high levels of confidence in their data strategies, only 15% of retailers have the right capabilities, people, technology, and processes to improve customer experience and monetize their data.
  • Most are also missing out on lucrative revenue through monetizing their media. Challenges with data, technology, expertise, and culture are the greatest barriers to progress.
  • Retailers who are able to successfully utilise data insights, are reaping benefits with 61% seeing an improvement in the customer experience and 56% seeing growth in existing revenues and revenue streams.
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Last March, when we realized the potential impact that COVID-19 might have on all aspects of our lives, dunnhumby launched a survey to understand how the virus would affect consumers food shopping habits. It was designed to help our clients better meet the needs of their Customers by seeing the impact of the virus through their customers eyes.

Little did we know at the time that one year later we would still be dealing with the impact Covid-19. This study presents the results of the sixth global wave of the study and the seventh wave for the United States. Other waves were conducted in March, April, May, July, September and November of 2020. This wave was conducted in February 2021.

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In dunnhumby's second annual Retailer Preference Index (RPI) study, a comprehensive nationwide study, we re-examine the evolving US grocery landscape to help retailers navigate an increasingly fragmented market where shoppers are, on average, shopping at four grocery stores per month and regularly buying groceries from at least three other channels. The study focuses on the following questions:

  • What drives preference?
  • Who is winning and losing?
  • Why are they winning or losing?
  • What can grocery retailers do to improve preference and performance?

Existing retailer rankings by Consumer Reports or Market Force only use survey data to capture how shoppers feel about the various banners without linking the emotion to financial performance. Others, like Supermarket News, rank banners based on financial metrics but fail to capture how people feel.

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Covid-19 has fundamentally changed shopping behaviour in a short space of time with shoppers visiting fewer stores less often, but leaving with bigger baskets. Ecommerce sales have near tripled, leaving some Retailers struggling to meet demand and cannibalising in-store margins. What's more, these changes are anything but transitional, with lockdowns and social distancing of some variety likely to dominate society for the foreseeable future, or until a vaccine is released.

With price sensitivity likely to resurface as a recession kicks in, continued disruption to supply chains, and a potential price war in the making as cash-rich retailers fight to retain newly acquired Shoppers and market share, the implications for CPGs and their retail partners are varied and potentially vast.

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In our third annual Retailer Preference Index (RPI) for the U.S. grocery channel, we look at the $700 billion grocery industry which finds itself potentially less than a year away from an economic downturn, according to many economists. Which grocers are best prepared to weather the storm, and what can other retailers do to compete? The RPI seeks to answer these and other questions, including:

  • What drives customer preference for grocery retailers?
  • Which retailers are winning and losing? And why?
  • What can grocery retailers do to improve performance and win more trips?

Existing ranking methods focus primarily on retail growth based on store counts and revenue size, without linking growth to emotional or financial performance. We have a different perspective, one that focuses on the consumer and their emotional connection to the various retailers within the grocery channel. Our study surveyed 7,500 US consumers to uncover how they think and feel about grocery stores, and how they shop them. All with a goal to understand how Customers perceive stores through seven different drivers, and how these perceptions affect both the emotional connection and financial performance.

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Data warehouse

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As disruption in the retail industry accelerates, more companies are turning to technology to keep up with new market entrants and changing consumer trends. But taking the focus off of Customer needs as the core driver of CRM strategy, retailers are missing opportunities for meaningful Customer interactions and profitable growth.

In this report, we'll take a closer look at the five big myths behind the trend of putting technology at the center of CRM strategies, revealing why a Customer First approach will help improve engagement with your Customers, which may just be the answer for ineffective tech solutions.


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In dunnhumby's inaugural Retailer Preference Index (RPI) study, a comprehensive nationwide study, we explore the evolving US grocery landscape to help retailers navigate an increasingly fragmented market, where shoppers are, on average, shopping at four grocery stores per month and regularly buying groceries from at least three other channels. The study focuses on the following questions:

  • What drives preference?
  • Who is winning and losing?
  • Why are they winning or losing?
  • What can grocery retailers do to improve preference and performance?

Existing retailer rankings by Consumer Reports or Market Force only use survey data to capture how shoppers feel about the various banners without linking the emotion to financial performance. Others, like Supermarket News, rank banners based on financial metrics but fail to capture how people feel.

Keep Reading... Show less
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FOR RETAILERS

Smarter operations and sustainable growth, powered by Customer Data Science.

FOR BRANDS

Better understand and activate your Shoppers to grow sales.

In the first episode of Customer First Radio, Dave Clements, Global Head of Retail for dunnhumby and David Ciancio, Global Head of Grocery for dunnhumby kick off the series by discussing what it means to be a truly Customer First business, share which retailers and brands today embody a Customer First mindset, and examine how Customer First materialized during the pandemic with retailers.

black and silver headphones on black and silver microphone
Photo by Will Francis on Unsplash

The 2021 Retailer Preference Index: Who's winning and why. David Ciancio, Global Head of Grocery discusses the 2021 U.S Retailer Preference Index (RPI): Grocery Edition with the lead author of the RPI, Erich Kahner. They unveil key insights and discuss who is winning and who is best positioned for the future.