North-west bakery chain Sayers is counting on shopper feedback to give it a competitive edge.

The company has just finished an analysis of shopper behaviour with retail marketing consultancy Market Creative, which involved interviewing hundreds of customers as they left its shops, as well as competitors’ stores in the vicinity.

Questions focused on how Sayers could tempt them when money was tight, as well as asking why they had chosen to visit the shop, how often they shopped there, and what they had bought.

This is the second time Sayers has conducted customer behaviour research in this way; a study three years ago resulted in a company reluanch and rebrand in 2008.

Sayers commercial director Mark James said the results had been enlightening. “It was very interesting to see how views have changed since the last time – then, they wanted a more traditional bakery.

“It gives us a good steer, because we interview shoppers of all ages and demographics, and particularly focus on those who don’t use Sayers as their primary shop.”

Customers are encouraged to take part with the lure of a free sandwich. “In these competitive times, it’s important to find out what they are saying and why they are not shopping with you,” added James. “The result will hopefully be that we get more shoppers who will spend more money with us.”

>>Sayer’s strategy