By Stephen Rust, Joint Managing Director at V360°.
As featured in Retail News, July 2018.
According to new research from V360°, as shoppers we typically make up to eight visits to a supermarket every month, spending an average of 34 minutes each trip. This works out as more than two days a year inside a supermarket. In this time, we have to make thousands of decisions – balancing what we need and want, the hassle of buying it, the time we have available to shop, and most importantly, getting what we perceive is good value for money. This can lead to many weird and wonderful shopping decisions and behaviours.
Balancing act of perceived value for money versus the effort of shopping
In this situation 8 out of 10 of us have refused to buy another shopping bag, and tried to carry all items by hand instead. This is a typical example of balancing perceived value for money for the item, and the effort needed for getting our shopping items home. It can lead to some quite unusual behaviours as many of us have at times left stores, with a stack of items in our arms.
This example of quick, and not always the most rationale, decisions has implications for suppliers and retailers as they endeavour to communicate the end value of the product or service they provide to a shopper who is balancing so many other factors in the moment of a shopping journey. From our experience, shoppers spend on average 10-25 seconds at a category fixture (depending on the category), with sometimes less than 1-2 seconds spent reviewing any one SKU. Therefore communicating the reasons to buy a product has to succinctly stand out and work in this extremely tight time frame to have any chance of selling.
Two examples of where we have seen the end value distinctly communicated in a tight time frame are:
Motrin…In this case the shopper immediately understands the end distinct benefit of the product and the communication creatively stands out for them. The only thing missing in this case is having the end price point in the communications to help shopper make his or her choice in that decision moment. It also makes sense to have the product as close to the message as feasible.
Manor Farm’s convenient dinner proposition is another example where the supplier and retailer were able to creatively make their proposition stand out. It also succinctly communicated the benefits to shoppers of been able to have a wholesome Irish chicken meal in 30 minutes for the price of €8.70. This makes it very easy for shoppers to quickly understand the proposition and decide if this is a good value for money solution for their requirements.
Sticking to the plan, versus finding new solutions
- WHO: Firstly, who are they trying to communicate to and how open-minded they are to messages, as younger shoppers maybe more open to trying something different versus the older (65+) shopper.
- WHAT: Secondly, what type of communication is most effective with the shopper we are trying to communicate to. For example, 79% of shoppers claimed they have bought food or drink items after receiving a free sample, and the 45-54 year old shoppers were especially responsive to sampling, with 87% claiming the same.
- WHERE & WHEN: Thirdly, at what point(s) along the shopping journey can communication be most efficient and effective? For instance for a supplier of everyday essentials like milk or bread, is a reminder to buy their specific brand on a shopping list, carrier bag, shopping basket or trolley an effective reminder so shoppers don’t forget their intended item.
Our less admirable habits as shoppers
One quarter (24%) admit to ordering food at the deli, changing their minds and leaving the item somewhere else in-store without purchasing it.
41% of shoppers who are parents admit that they have left their child in a shopping aisle to have a tantrum while they continued their shop.
15% of shoppers admit to have eaten something in store and not paid for this item when checking-out. This is especially noticeable with family shoppers, where as many of 27% of them admitted to this behaviour, versus only 9% of those shoppers who were not buying for a bigger household. (Reference chart 3)
Survey Methodology: 1,026 people were surveyed – 51% female, 49% male.