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Guest Post : An increasing number of consumers now visiting more than four different supermarkets in any one month for groceries

by on March 4, 2013 in Lead story, Research, Retail, Retail News

New shopper marketing research

Shoppers are sounding the death knell for the traditional weekly shop, with an increasing number of consumers now visiting more than four different supermarkets in any one month for groceries, according to research by St Ives Group.

The study, which throws the spotlight on people’s motivations for choosing specific supermarkets and products, has identified the ‘promiscuous shopper’ who visits a different store every week, driven by a desire to find the best prices and offers, with people going to 4.14 stores per month on average.

A third of people surveyed also said they had tried completely new stores in the past year.

Some 28% of people indicated that the closeness of a shop to their location was a key factor in their choice, alongside the 71% of who seek better deals and 69% looking for more competitive prices. As the majority of multiples continue to roll out convenience formats, store location is becoming critical to consumer choice, and top-up shops in combination with online shopping are replacing the traditional once-a-week outing.

Retailers are also increasingly attracting custom by using overt price promotions and price-matching initiatives to target their rivals’ shoppers and boost their own market share. Among respondents, loyalty schemes (17%) and customer service (15%) are now deemed relatively unimportant, most likely due to saturation and familiarity.

Shopper choice

In terms of the media channels supermarkets use to reach their audiences, there are clear influences on shopper choice. Some 75% said store-specific vouchers were important in deciding where to shop and 67% cited receiving a leaflet or flyer from a chain. Only 27% claimed a TV ad for a supermarket pushed them in-store.

This is an important factor when analysed alongside the question as to whether shoppers could remember seeing a specific store advertised. With 32% saying TV and 26% online, yet only 17% remembering a leaflet, it seems the most wide-reaching means of communication are not always the most impactful.

The research, conducted by St Ives Group company Incite, shows that there is clear value in retailers communicating with consumers to influence store choice, and supermarkets should consider using vouchers and printed media more widely to optimise shopper communications.

Peter Kneale, Director, Incite, says: “These promiscuous, savvy shoppers know what they want and are keen to get the best deals so highlighting the tactics that can be employed to build shopper loyalty is key.

The findings also clearly show the trend of shoppers going to multiple supermarkets and trying out new ones which is why it’s more important than ever for supermarkets to communicate effectively to their target audience; consider alternatives to TV advertising and don’t underestimate the influence of word-of-mouth and print media.”

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