Despite much focus on improving customer experiences in its stores and online, Walmart continues to rank below most of its competitors, according to the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings survey of 10,000 U.S. shoppers.
Perhaps the rollout of more self-checking stations across Walmart stores isn’t exactly what customers want. Data indicates supermarkets continue to garner the highest overall scores of the 20 industries included in the survey, but Walmart remains in the middle of the pack of overall companies and in the lower quarter of its retail competitors.
Walmart may be the largest U.S. grocery chain with food/grocery sales of $178.36 billion, but the retailer ranks behind smaller competitors for overall customer experience valued by consumers surveyed in the past 60 days. That is despite the retailer’s efforts to offer convenience through more self-checkout stations, pickup towers and expanded online grocery pickup.
Temkin reports Walmart garnered a total score of 69%, ranking 149 out of 315 companies in this year’s survey. Sam’s Club scored 77%, landing it at 42. Sam’s Club fared in between its two main competitors as BJ’s Wholesale was ranked 17 with 80% and Costco ranked at 65, scoring 65%.
Walmart’s grocery competitors did much better than the Bentonville-based behemoth with the exception of Amazon Fresh’s score of 67% and No. 184 ranking. The top overall score went to grocery chain Wegmans with a score of 86%.
“Supermarkets have been the highest-scoring industry since 2012, and this year was no different,” said Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Waban, Mass.-based Temkin Group. “But the leadership has changed, as Wegmans jumped over H-E-B to earn the top spot.”
The survey asks consumers to evaluate companies on three customer service metrics around success, effort and emotion. The survey asks shoppers to evaluate the ease of working with companies and how the interactions make them feel.
Rochester-based Wegman’s scored 91% in the success element, 90% in effort and 78% in emotion. Supermarket chains overall posted an average 78.5%, up from 78.1% last year.
Texas-based grocery giant HEB ranked No. 2 with a score of 83% tying with Florida-based Publix who earned the same score. Kroger, Meijer and HyVee tied at No. 22 each scoring 79%. Albertson’s was a few steps back at No. 34 earning a 78% score.
As a big box retailer, Target is a major competitor to Walmart and this year outranked it at No. 95, scoring 73% compared to the 69% Walmart recorded. Other big box retailers had mixed results against Walmart with Home Depot ranking No. 42 with a 77% score and Best Buy at 68% being ranked 163.
Amazon.com is a growing competitor to Walmart’s in-store and online business. The e-commerce titan ranked well ahead of Walmart at No. 22, scoring 79% even through Amazon Fresh grocery ranked lower than Walmart.
Discount grocery chains like Aldi and Trader Joe’s each ranked higher than Walmart. Aldi was in the top 10 at No. 7 earning a score of 82%. Trader Joe’s was No. 12 scoring 81%. The dollar store channel also outperformed Walmart in this year’s survey. Dollar Tree tied with Aldi at No. 7 scoring 82%. Family Dollar ranked No. 12 scoring 81% while Dollar General ranked No. 34 scoring 78%.
Following are scores and rankings of other well-known retailers.
• TJ Maxx: 75%, rank 65
• JCPenney: 75%, rank 65
• Kohl’s: 75%, rank 65
• Marshall’s: 69%, rank 169
• Kmart: 67%, rank 184
• Macy’s: 67%, rank 184