90% of shoppers know what they’re buying ahead of time
Compared to other regular consumer activities, grocery trips tend to be frequent and commonly involve a larger number of items. Accordingly, list-making has long been a part of the planning process.
Most grocery shoppers already have a list and an idea of what they will buy before ever entering a store. According to Deloitte’s 2011 Annual Pantry Survey, 90% of consumers knew what they were buying ahead of time and 83% knew which brands they wanted to consider purchasing.
In terms of pre-shopping behavior, a February 2012 report by SymphonyIRI found that 70% of consumers made shopping lists, and circulars and coupons had the greatest power over what ended up on the list. And even though online sources were less influential, digital’s role in list-making still grew 29% between Q1 and Q4 2011.
None of this means that shoppers, even the stalwart planners, are immune to impulse buys. The leading source of disruption may be obvious: sales or promotions, cited by 66% of shoppers in a January 2012 Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research survey. Coupons followed at 30%, while the next most popular reason shoppers buy items they did not intend to purchase beforehand provides insight into a different type of trigger: Twenty-three percent added a nonessential, on-the-spot item to pamper themselves, proving that marketers should never underestimate the sway of an emotional appeal.
Nor should they assume that the shopper is a woman. Writing the list and looking for sales and coupons to make the list were tasks disproportionately performed by females, yet only 5% more women than men do the actual shopping. As snap decisions get made at the shelf, it’s essential to woo more than just one-half of the population.
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Check out today’s other articles, “The ‘Smartphone Class’: Always On, Always Consuming Content” and “Social Media Inspires Art, Internet Adoption in Indonesia.”