Choice Of Supermarket Not Driven By Low Prices

Product availability and a convenient location are the two most highly influential factors when it comes to where British shoppers choose to buy their groceries from, according to Nielsen’s Global Retail-Growth Strategies Survey.

The survey on grocery shopping habits, which polled more than 30,000 online respondents in 61 countries, reveals that 55% of British shoppers cite the products they want regularly being in stock as “highly influential” in choosing which retailer to buy from. A convenient location is the next most influential factor (52%) followed by good value for money (47%).

In the UK, four of the 10 most influential factors related to product range and quality, whilst three relate to each of convenience and price. Having the lowest prices ranks just sixth (39%) in terms of high-influence, and is less of a factor in Britain than globally (48%) and across Europe (47%).

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“These findings are good news for supermarkets as it demonstrates the opportunities to take a broader, more strategic view about their offer and not to be so focused on price, which can often be a short term reaction to competitive pressure,” said Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, Mike Watkins.

“For instance, four-in-10 British consumers agree grocery shopping is a chore that they try to spend as little time on as possible, thus, supermarkets need to pay more attention to the convenient and speedy experience that shoppers crave.”

Watkins illustrated the point: “Consumers are more likely to choose a grocery store by how short or fast the checkout lines are (31%) rather than whether they can use a loyalty card there (26%).”

What additional in-store services would entice shoppers?

As shopping habits change and the role of stores evolves, the survey also addressed what extra in-store services are most likely to help grocery retailers entice consumers in.

Among additional services currently available in-store, petrol stations (used by 48% of shoppers where this service is available), pharmacy services (39%), postal services (28%) and prepared food services (27%) are the most widely-used.

Among services not currently available in-store, postal services would be the most successful addition (would be used by 31% of GB shoppers if available), followed by pharmacy services (23%), health clinic services (22%) and banking services (20%).

“Supermarkets should consider the opportunity to provide extra services that help shoppers make the shopping trip compelling and convenient, such as financial services, dry cleaning, links to the local community and click-and-collect for online shopping,” concluded Watkins. “Forecourts also have the potential to be successful in this regard by attracting new footfall using food-on-the-go. The common theme across all channels is the need to provide convenient services that appeal to the time-poor consumer.”

NAM Implications:
  • Nielsen’s ranking-list of influential factors could provide a useful basis for assessing the relative competitive appeal of each of the mults vs. alternatives available?
  • See Buying Mix Analysis for a way of simplifying the process
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