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    ‘Shoppers flock to local shops as trust in supermarkets fall’

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    Larger supermarkets have fallen in popularity since Covid 19 while local stores, such as Londis and Nisa, have enjoyed increased consumer favour, a recent report has stated,

    According to data experts at Leeds-based SALT.agency, a specialist technical SEO, most supermarkets with decreased popularity have also seen yearly brand search volume decline. The change in popularity isn’t just a brand contest — it’s impacting organic searches.

    Using third-party data, when viewing supermarkets with the largest search volume in 2023, nine out of the top 15 saw a reduction in search demand from last year.

    While search volume has dropped, organic traffic as a whole has increased. Out of the top 10 supermarkets with the highest organic traffic, the biggest increases were seen in those known, rightly or wrongly, for being cheap, especially in the wholesale market, with brands such as Costco.

    The report further highlights that the two supermarkets with the highest organic traffic in 2023 also include smaller local shops — notably Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local — which have seen a 45 per cent and +43 per cent increase in search trends over the last 12 months alone.

    While popularity and trust may be at a 10-year low, the supermarket industry rebuilt consumer confidence for a time and has the potential to do it again.

    With search volume dropping while organic traffic grows, this suggests people no longer value brand loyalty and will visit sites they feel offer better value. It is also worth considering the broader impact of rising inflation on all retail and consumer industries.

    The cost-of-living crisis is undoubtedly one reason why local convenience stores enjoy increased traffic, as people look to visit stores closer to home rather than venturing further afield to do a “big shop”. 

    Thierry Ngutegure, head of data Insight at SALT.agency, commented, “It’s interesting to see how people are seemingly moving towards shopping locally, rather than in big supermarkets – and it seems it’s not because they may want to shop local but because due to the financial climate, they are being forced to – so instead of the massive shop every month or 2 weeks, they opt for smaller shops at smaller shops.

    “That, combined with the trust aspect of large supermarkets increasing costs to capitalise on inflation, has pushed consumers to change their behaviour entirely.

    “Out of the top 10 supermarkets with the highest organic traffic, the biggest increases were seen in those known for being cheap, especially in the wholesale market, with brands such as Costco featuring,” reports quoted Ngutegure as saying.

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