Drug chains are capturing consumer attention

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Drug chains are capturing consumer attention

By Seth Mendelson - 03/31/2020

Drug store chains scored well in new research from Coca-Cola on customer loyalty across the drug, convenience, grocery and value (dollar) channels, revealing which characteristics drive trial, frequency and loyalty, and which retailers are succeeding at creating customer advocates – those consumers who will recommend that retailer to other shoppers.

The research, provided exclusively to EnsembleIQ by Coca-Cola, found that good loyalty programs, familiar layouts, easy to get in and out, trust of the pharmacy and trust of the overall store were the top reasons that drove trial at drug stores. Good locations for items, good sales, one-stop shopping and good coupon policy drove frequency and trust in the store, while atmosphere, good overall value, helpful employees and fun place to shop were the leading drivers for advocacy.

Coca-Cola has been conducting an annual study of shoppers and shopping behavior since 2013. Called iSHOP, or “Individual Shopping Habits, Occasions and Perceptions”, the uniquely comprehensive study surveys consumers on a daily basis throughout the year to account for seasonal differences and other potential variables in their needs and habits. It goes beyond Coca-Cola’s own beverage categories to gain insights about the entire shopping experience, and polls beyond the primary household shopper to cover all consumers, with respondents ranging in age from 16 years old to 75 years old. The results encompass roughly 40,000 interviews each year.

For more background on how the study was conducted, click here

The three national drug store chains all performed well in the study with regard to consumer trust in the pharmacy.

All three major drug store chains received high marks for trust in the store, have a comfortable and friendly atmosphere, and have helpful employees. The survey found that consumers were generally pleased with their experiences at pharmacies across all mass retail outlets, though some chains fared better than others. The three national drug store chains all performed well in the study with regard to consumer trust in the pharmacy. Some supermarket chains, including H-E-B, Albertsons, Giant Eagle, Fry’s Food Stores and Jewel Osco, also did quite well in gaining consumer trust and having them spread that news to other shoppers.

More than 60 companies across the retail spectrum were studied for this distinct research report.

Comparing drug store with other retail channels revealed:

  • Convenience stores trail grocery retailers on the top drivers of shopping frequency and advocacy;
  • Among grocery chains, H-E-B, Wegman’s, Trader Joe’s and Publix scored the highest marks in four of the top five drivers. In the fifth driver of "good overall value,” the top grocers were H-E-B, ALDI, King Soopers and Lidl;
  • Value chains (dollar stores) and drug stores’ rankings were more similar to those of c-stores than grocery stores and clubs;
  • Dollar Tree and Dollar General had generally higher scores on the top drivers than 99 Cents Only Stores and Family Dollar; and
  • Costco led the clubs, trailed by BJ’s and then Sam’s Club.

For complete shopper insights across retail channels, visit the interactive experience "The Coke Formula" on PathtoPurchaseIQ.