Wednesday, 5 February 2014

A Look Inside the Grocery Shopper's Head

According to researchers Kantar Worldpanel the average shopper spends around £3,800 per annum on groceries, and spends the equivalent of 16 working days in store. 

Unsurprisingly, given the time and money involved, shoppers are choosy about where they buy their groceries.

It is clear now that quality and value are non negotiable when it comes to shoppers deciding where to shop.

So if quality and value are a given, what else matters?

Kantar asked shoppers on a recent shopping trip in the Big 4* supermarkets which statement best described their mind set.

42% chose budget management, focussing on getting the items they wanted without spending too much. 25% chose time pressure, aiming to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible. 15% were happy to browse. Just 9% felt that searching for special offers was the best description of them on the trip in question.

However, Kantar have found that shoppers’ mind sets differ depending on the type of product being bought.

“Fast Find” covers pre planned purchases like bread and milk, and here the shopper’s main aim is to buy what they want without spending too much, and get in and out of the store in double quick time. They spend little time looking for special offers. Which does raise the question of why retailers feel the need to sell milk at silly prices as was the case a couple of years ago.

“Restock and save” items are less frequently bought products like tea, coffee or washing powder. Such products do not perish so this is the category where 39% of shoppers look hard for special offers. Again, a finding such as this makes one wonder why manufacturers run promotional deals such as BOGOFS – the sensible consumer does not buy any more over the long term, instead preferring to stock up until the next time the product in question is on promotion.

“Classic restock” covers items such as fruit juice and cereals, and health and diet considerations are second only to budget management.

In the “Meal solver” the shopper’s prime focus, outweighing even budgetary considerations, is to find convenient meal solutions. This suggests that the more help that  retailers can give about easy to prepare meal ideas the more likely a shopper is to return.

The final category is treat where shoppers buy on impulse and all other considerations come second.

Kantar’s key message from the research is that price and quality are a “must”, and now it is the shopping experience both within category and overall that matters to consumers. They say that whilst their research focuses on the Big 4, the findings are relevant to smaller shops.

*Big 4 supermarkets are ASDA, Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury