Monday, 14 May 2012

Finally a Supermarket with Some Sense!

Followers of the SEO Marketing blog will be aware the majority of our blogs are about Search Engine Optimisation, however, on many occasions we stop and reflect on the Good, the Bad and the Ugly side of other marketing.

In a recent visit to Morrison's I encountered what can only be described as supermarket bliss. I made my usual grunts and groans when exiting my car and couldn't face another boring, dull and ultimately time-consuming visit around a supermarket.

I've always thought that supermarkets are like chores; it's an essential task of life but once which takes up far too much of my time. Supermarkets are crammed full of people who fail to understand the concept of personal space, it's an environment of loud banging, delivery trollies strewn all over the aisles and poor availability and choice of items. As a result, I no longer believe Morrison's to be a supermarket. It can't be described as a supermarket because it does more - it actually understands what people want, not just what they need.

Why is Morrison's a cut above the rest?

For the people yet to visit the new Morrison's stores where the transformation from lifeless supermarket to glorious shopping experience has taken place, this may seem like I'm overplaying a supermarket changing the shelves for new stock. I guarantee you it's not. My local superstore is Anniesland, Glasgow and during my visit I mentioned to the gentleman on the till that the place was brilliant. In a "you're the 100th person to tell me today" tone he said, "Yeah, people like it" and he proceeded to help me with my bags.

Morrison's supermarket has provided consumers with a new style of supermarket. Some of the best things about Morrison's includes;
- Extra wide and spacious aisles (you need never bump into anyone ever again!)
- A fruit and veg section being kept fresh with water being sprayed across them
- Selection and choice in every aisle (it's definitely the largest fruit and vegetable section I've seen)
- A wine aisle which segments by colour, flavour, occasion and price (bottles under £3, £5 and about £8)
- The meat section was fantastic and again the choice on offer was exceptional
- The cafe is huge but also, you no longer have to take your trolley into the cafe because there are secure designated bays to leave your trolley
- Morrison's has developed a deli style section where you can purchase a slice of pizza, a freshly squeeze drink, a baked potato to eat on the go or simply a frothy coffee
- On top of this, Morrison's actually had everything in stock I was looking for and it was my 'big shop'.

Marketing of Morrison's

Morrison's have taken a personalised approach to supermarket shopping. It's important to be honest and say that before this event I was not a Morrison's fan - actually I would go to Asda or Tesco. The reason is that Asda is the cheapest and Tesco is the largest supermarket to me, plus I can get clubcard points on food and petrol. However, Morrison's marketing strategy is a winner for me.

I no longer feel like castle being dragged in, hauled around the aisles, bumping into people and then taken through a conveyer system to leave again, minus a large chunk of my money.  I don't mind paying more for the excellent experience of walking through a Morrison's supermarket. Also, I love the variety of choice from Morrison's which I can't get at Asda. I would still use Tesco for clubcard points but on petrol (which is about the same everywhere).

A supermarket should either be the cheapest, the best quality or the most convenient. My local Tesco is a Tesco Metro, so for me I would utilise this shop for day to day items. There is a premium for shopping this way but I'd rather pay 20 pence on a carton of milk than drive 10 minutes to the larger supermarket. Asda is the cheapest supermarket but struggles with availability, which Tesco has managed to resolve through the use of their clubcard. For me, Morrison's is the best quality supermarket, and I include the more expensive Marks and Spencers and Waitrose in this list.

I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Morrison's conducted market research on 10,000 customers and asked them how to improve the supermarket. They've listened and actually delivered a supermarket to be proud of.

Morrison's: The Place to Shop

Perhaps I'm in shock and awe at the transformation of Morrison's, or that I never really expected a supermarket could be an enjoyable experience. I've since visited Morrison's 4 more times at various points throughout the week and continue to get the same great service, excellent variety and a fantastic ability to browse the aisles as I wish.

It's not difficult to provide a fantastic experience but it takes a genuine understanding of your customer and a lot of harder work on your proposition to deliver it. When people in their early 20's Facebook each other saying "have you been to the new Morrison's", you know you've done something right.
I won't stop using Tesco because it's useful for my local shop and for petrol but I'm not loyal to any supermarket so I would rather spend a little extra money for an enjoyable experience at Morrison's than visit Asda.
The lesson here is, being the cheapest doesn't make you the best. People always, always want value and being the cheapest often means reduced profit which consequently hinders a business's ability to interact with customers and change with market trends.

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