Polls / January 13, 2010

Is low price the most important factor in your supermarket shopping?

Price is the most important factor in supermarket shopping for 42% of respondents to an eZonomics online poll, while the rest (58%) prioritise other factors.

Give me wide aisles and limited choice
While price is important to many during their regular shop, it is not the be-all and end-all. A study last year by the BBC in the United Kingdom, for example, found most shoppers were creatures of habit - returning to the same store time after time. When it came to shifting stores, price was the main factor in the decision. Convenience and quality also featured.

According to shopping behaviour expert Herb Sorenson - author of book Inside the Mind of the Shopper - shoppers are turned off by overwhelming choice and are attracted by open space (rather than shops jammed full of products). Sorenson wrote in his RetailWire blog: "Plenty of solid research has shown that shoppers have a very poor idea of what they are paying for things in the stores. And yet, retailers and the professional 'consumerists' seem to think shopping is mostly about the pricing."

Checking out good deals could be on the rise
A "new frugality" rose in popularity during the financial crisis and might increase the focus on price. A study from The Nielsen Company in October last year showed 42% of grocery purchases in the survey were sold "on promotion", up from 40% a year earlier. A McKinsey & Company analysis last month said that shoppers were so happy with the discount brands they tried during the recession, the cost cutting move could end up being permanent.

Watch total spend even if the price is right
Shoppers have embraced online discount coupons and group buying to get a good deal. But shoppers on a budget should remember to watch their total spend, even if they are getting a discount.

Research by Nielsen on coupon use found "coupon enthusiasts buy more products per trip and generally have a higher spend per trip in the grocery and supercentre channels". As eZonomics reported in its poll about shopping in sales, "you can be sure of is shopkeepers would not sell a product more cheaply than usual if they did not need to".


eZonomics team
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