The pandemic changed shopping habits and stirred up the popularity of domestic stores with customers. An important role was played by payments on the Internet, in which the organizer of the competition – Mastercard – recorded a third increase in turnover, as well as the ability of merchants to respond as quickly as possible to the constant changes and needs of customers unsure of the arrival of coronavirus.
“Last year showed who is investing in the Czech Republic and thinking about how to change things. He who managed to speed up decision-making processes in difficult times and put them into practice in months or weeks instead of years, won. Last year, the trend of going after five stores in a row and choosing the best one also ended, and the main parameter was loyalty. Whoever managed to get it from customers won, “commented Tomáš Prouza, President of the Confederation of Trade and Tourism of the Czech Republic.
The absolute winner of the 18th year of the Mastercard Merchant of the Year competition was Dr. Max, who scored an overall score of 81.4 percent. Winning business is determined by its market position and customer confidence, in which parameters such as memorability of the business and loyalty of buyers play an important role.
The pharmacy network has been helped by online sales and a large community of people presenting a loyalty card, which gives them loyalty benefits – the program already has four million members.
“I think people especially appreciated the fact that the pharmacies were at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus and remained open. A large part of people shopping online picked up their orders directly at the pharmacy so that they could still consult with pharmacists, “explains the victory in the competition, CEO Dr. Max Daniel Horák.
Ikea came in second with a total score of 80.5 percent. The research showed that the Swedish furniture retailer has a strong position and trust with its customers, and customers appreciate the fact that it differs from the competition.
The third place was taken by the company dm drogerie markt, which excels in its category and has a high score, especially in loyalty and trust. According to research, the vast majority of customers like to return to this trader again and their willingness to recommend him is one of the highest of all traders, even outside the drugstore category.
The influence of online purchases also affected the order of stores in individual assortment categories.
“It is a bit of an exaggeration to say that new e-shops appeared every day. The growth of competition – especially in traditional industries such as sporting goods, drugstores or footwear – then erases the differences between them in the eyes of customers. It is therefore increasingly difficult for retailers to find what customers would perceive as their clear distinguishing advantage, “says Michal Čarný, Mastercard’s General Manager for the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
In food, Lidl scored, whose brand was spontaneously named by 53 percent of respondents. In drugstore goods, the company dm drogerie markt won, where customers declare the highest level of loyalty in the given category.
Zara led in clothing, mainly due to the best score in the overall customer confidence index. Deichmann won gold in the footwear, which customers declare a high level of loyalty in the given category. The share of customers for whom the store is the main shopping place for the range is 46 percent. Decathlon won in sporting goods, thanks to high customer loyalty, where the store became the main shopping place for the range in 55 percent of them.
OBI became the winner of the category of goods for the house, garden and breeder, mainly due to the best results in the parameter of memorability – it was spontaneously named by 54 percent of respondents. Ikea won in furniture and home accessories.
In the field of electricity and electronics, Alza.cz took first place, again thanks to the high loyalty of buyers – the main shopping place for the range is for 45 people. In the category of petrol stations with a shop, the Benzina Orlen brand won gold, which shows the best results in the parameter of memorability – 63% of respondents spontaneously named it.
The shoe trader CCC became the jumper of the year, which improved in all monitored parameters compared to 2019 and jumped to 25th place from the 49th position.
Lidl reigned among consumers, gaining over 90,000 votes from more than 110,000 voters. Kaufland finished second and Albert third.