Grocery shoppers are making an increasingly large number of their purchase decisions in-store, according to research findings released in May 2012 by The Point of Purchase Advertising International (POPAI). Breaking down purchases into 4 categories – Specifically Planned, Generally Planned, Substitutes, and Unplanned – the trade association calculated the in-store decision rate by taking the sum of the Generally Planned, Substitutes, and Unplanned category rates. This year, that rate stands at 76% (55% Unplanned; 6% Substitutes; and 15% Generally Planned). This is a significant rise from previous decades’ rates: 70% in 1995; 66.1% in 1986; 64.8% in 1977; and 68.9% in 1965.
3 in 10 Shoppers are Explorers
The “2012 Shopper Engagement Study” also classifies shoppers into 4 different segments, based on their level of agreement with a broad set of lifestyle and shopping characteristics. A plurality (29%) of respondents fell into the “Explorer” segment, with these shoppers defined as enjoying seeing what new products are available, browsing the store in general, and getting inspiration for meals while shopping. These shoppers skew older (55+), have a lower income (<$45k), and make heavy use of circulars to drive retailer choice. They are highly receptive to stores with quality private label products as well as perceived variety of product types and package sizes. They also have the highest percentage of their baskets purchased on impulse (72%), make the most weekly trips, and spend the longest time in the store.
1 in 4 Shoppers Time Stressed
The next-largest segment of shoppers are “Time stressed” (26%), defined by POPAI as shoppers who feel pressured from not having enough time and who seem to be always in a hurry. These shoppers skew younger (18-44), are likely to be shopping with children, and do not use circulars or coupons. They describe themselves as easily tempted, have the least consistent use of a written list, and have the second-highest percentage of their baskets purchased on impulse (70%). They have the highest total basket average ($67) of the segments.
Bargain Hunters Spend the Least
“Bargain hunters,” who make up 22% of shoppers, have the highest use of circulars and coupons, and are most likely to use pre-store media to plan the trip. They are also most likely to not purchase an item that they planned to buy pre-store, and have the lowest total basket average ($54).
“Trip planners,” who make up 23% of shoppers, skew male and older (55+), are the most loyal to retailers, and have the most consistent use of a written list. They have the lowest percentage of their baskets purchased on impulse (67%), make the fewest number of trips per week, and spend the shortest amount of time in store.
- Floor stands (51%) are the most common in-store display types, followed by end cap (35%), powerwing/sidekick (3%), and inline/gondola (2%). Half of the shoppers surveyed said they recalled seeing at least one display during their shopping trip, with end cap and free standing displays being the most frequently recalled.
- More than 1 in 6 purchases are made when a display with that brand is present in-store. According to April 2012 survey results from The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research, of the 9 in 10 shoppers who admit making off-list purchases, 66% cited the presence of in-store messaging drawing attention to a sale or promotion as the reason.
- 13% of all eye-fixations recorded by POPAI were drawn to in-store displays. A breakdown by type reveals that end caps commanded 44% of these fixations, floor stands 34%, in line 12%, and power wing 10%.
- Looking at where displays are located in the supermarket, the report finds the end of aisle (42%) to be the most common location, followed by in aisle (28%), perimeter (23%), and front end (7%).
About the Data: POPAI fielded its most recent study beginning in the fall of 2011 and concluding in March 2012. In-store intercept interviews were conducted across the 4 broad US census regions with 2400 shoppers randomly intercepted and screened at the entrance of each store location for being at least 18 years of age and on a routine stock up or fill in trip. The study was conducted across 12 major supermarket banners. These outlets were large, high-volume stores selected from leading chains and were evenly divided among the 4 geographic census regions.
In addition, a subset of 210 shoppers were recruited to participate in the EEG/Eye-tracking portion of the study.