March shopper trends

Date : 11 April 2018

Shoppers remain cautious about the economy, anticipating further food inflation in the year to come.  This month we explore the impact of shoppers’ caution on store choice and reveal their attitudes towards different price and promotional strategies.

The balance between convenience and saving money is changing

In the last month we’ve seen an increase in the proportion of shoppers who chose to visit a specific store because it helps them to save money.   32% claimed it was the main driver of store choice on their last trip to buy groceries, up from 28% in February.

Main driver of store choice on last trip to purchase food and groceries

The ability to save money is now as important as convenience in determining store choice

This provides both opportunities and challenges for retailers as they look for new and exciting ways to attract shoppers into their stores. Communicating low prices at different touchpoints (e.g. TV, online, social media, catalogue) outside the store is therefore increasingly important for retailers to drive footfall.

Saving money is more important to larger families

% of shoppers who chose the store on their last trip because it helps them to save money

It will come as no surprise that larger families are more likely to actively look for retailers that can provide them with the cheapest overall shop.  Families are more likely to conduct a main shop than the average shopper (36% of households with children were on a main shop on their last trip vs 29% of all grocery shoppers).  If they can make significant savings on their total shop, or stock up cheaply on everyday products then it’s worth switching stores or going slightly out of their way.

Asda’s Rollback message aims to build trust and provide confidence that shoppers will make savings by conducting their main shop at Asda. Both Aldi and Lidl regularly compare prices of their own brand products with a leading brand in a competitor, They proactively let shoppers know they can get more for their money by shopping at the discounters.

Shoppers prefer EDLP and price reductions

Better, consistent low prices are the most appealing factor when it comes to store choice.

63% of shoppers claim they would like to see fewer offers in-store and instead have every day low prices.  EDLP can make shopping quicker and easier as there’s no need to compare products, calculate savings and determine value.

Reasons for claiming that the store gelped them to save money
- % of shoppers who chose a store on the last trip because it helped them to save money

Whilst special offers still play a significant role in influencing product choice (see our report on ‘the value equation’), they have less influence on store choice.  Once shoppers are in-store, simple and impactful promotions can help encourage brand switching, trade-up, new product trial or impulse purchasing.

62% of shoppers (57% of households with children) prefer price reductions over multi-buys.  They feel they’re not forced to buy additional products they might not need/want and price reductions can help keep the cost of their overall shop down.

Promotional preference will differ by category, shopping mission, shopper need and channel.  When developing your promotional strategies, it’s vital you consider current shopper behaviour and the type of behaviour you want to drive or change.

Other key shopper trends

If you would like to understand how else shopper behaviour has changed in the last month, then please follow the additional links below:

Nicola Ball

Nicola Ball

Shopper Insight Manager


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26-27 September 2018, London

Convenience continues to outpace big store formats. This year we have launched a two-day Convenience Retailing Summit to help you explore every opportunity, possibility and future trend to boost your business.