[Infographic] Channel Wars: Which is the Best Channel, According to Everyday Shoppers

The in-store shopping experience can be quite different depending on what type of store you operate—a few of the more popular channels include home improvement, grocery, mass-market, drug, and dollar. But how exactly do these experiences differ? And how do shoppers feel after a visit to one of these stores?

To find out, Wiser Solutions polled its network of smartphone-enabled mystery shoppers across the U.S. More than 18,000 responses came in from nearly 6,000 stores. Shoppers were asked to go into stores in the above channels and answer a number of questions while inside.

This infographic covers:

  • The welcome and checkout experiences
  • Store organization and cleanliness
  • Shoppers’ willingness to return
  • Best brand displays in the eyes’ of shoppers

Check out the full infographic below to see all the responses from this survey. Beneath the following image is the text used in the infographic.

Infographic featuring data points from home improvement, grocery, mass-market, drug, and dollar channels.


Wondering how shoppers feel when they browse in different types of stores? While dollar, drug, grocery, home improvement, and mass-market channels have plenty of similarities, all is not equal in the eyes of consumers.

Wiser collected more than 18,000 survey responses across 5,858 stores in the U.S. Here’s what shoppers had to say about these channels—and which one came out on top.

Were Shoppers Greeted When They Entered?

A friendly welcome can go a long way toward winning a sale. However, dollar channel shoppers shouldn’t expect a hello.

  • Home Improvement
    • 73 percent were greeted.
  • Grocery
    • 69 percent were greeted.
  • Mass-Market
    • 55 percent were greeted.
  • Drug
    • 45 percent were greeted.
  • Dollar
    • 33 percent were greeted.

Were the Stores Well-Organized?

Well-organized stores can be easier to shop, especially for today’s consumers who tend to be more mission focused.

  • Home Improvement
    • 95 percent either organized or very organized.
  • Drug
    • 92 percent either organized or very organized.
  • Grocery
    • 92 percent either organized or very organized.
  • Mass-Market
    • 88 percent either organized or very organized.
  • Dollar
    • 74 percent either organized or very organized.

Were the Stores Clean?

Cleanliness might matter more in some channels—say, grocery over home improvement—but either way, it’s always nice to have a clean store to browse.

  • Home Improvement
    • 92 percent either clean or very clean.
  • Grocery
    • 92 percent either clean or very clean.
  • Drug
    • 91 percent either clean or very clean.
  • Mass-Market
    • 87 percent either clean or very clean.
  • Dollar
    • 63 percent either clean or very clean.

How Was the Checkout Experience?

A quick, easy checkout experience is not only good for shoppers, but it can be the right time for an upsell at the register.

  • Grocery
    • 91 percent either good or excellent
  • Drug
    • 90 percent either good or excellent
  • Home Improvement
    • 89 percent either good or excellent
  • Mass-Market
    • 87 percent either good or excellent
  • Dollar
    • 77 percent either good or excellent

Would Shoppers Come Back?

A one-time purchase is nice, but repeat business is better. The dollar channel lags behind again with getting shoppers to return for more.

  • Home Improvement
    • 85 percent would shop again.
  • Grocery
    • 84 percent would shop again.
  • Mass-Market
    • 82 percent would shop again.
  • Drug
    • 74 percent would shop again.
  • Dollar
    • 55 percent would shop again.

Which Brands Had the Best Displays?

Some brands made a better impression than others, especially these companies (broken out by channel).

  • Dollar
    • Fabuloso
    • Swiffer
    • Ajax
    • Lysol
    • Totally Awesome
  • Drug
    • Finest Nutrition
    • Nature’s bounty
    • Nature Made
    • Live Better
    • CVS Health
  • Grocery
    • Russell Stover
    • Lindt
    • M&Ms
    • Lay’s
    • Reese’s
  • Home Improvement
    • Samsung
    • LG
    • Whirlpool
    • GE
    • Maytag
  • Mass-Market
    • Fitbit
    • Samsung
    • Apple
    • Garmin
    • Fossil

Who’s the Winner?

Which channel had the most consistent performance across these KPIs? Our winner was Home Improvement, taking first place for shopper greetings, store organization, and return visits—plus a tie with Grocery for cleanliness.

  1. Home Improvement
  2. Grocery
  3. Mass-Market
  4. Drug
  5. Dollar

Matt Ellsworth

Matt is the Sr. Manager, Marketing & Demand at Wiser, the leading provider of actionable data for better decisions.

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