Although consumer confidence may be on the increasing buying brands that are on promotion continues to dominate purchase decisions according to the latest retail trends tracker published by media agency Carat.
However the research carried out by Carat also points to a “stabilisation” when it comes to switching between brands and private label over the last two years. In 2011, for example, 18% of those surveyed had switched to private label. This increased to 22% in 2012, decreased to 20% in 2013 only to rise to 24% in 2014, a level which has since stabilised into 2015.
Looking within each category, the biggest shifts are within the tea and alcohol brands and these continue to command the highest loyalty levels although levels of brand switching have increased, driven largely by promotions.
The milk and cereal categories have seen a 5% and 3% increase respectively, in consumers that have switched to private labels and are happy with the decision.
According to Carat, when it comes to responsibility of being the main grocery shopper, females continue to take the majority of ownership with a slight decline from 75% last year to 73% in 2015. Meanwhile, males shopping responsibility has increased in the same period from 43% to 47%. Males, however, are showing a stronger preference to do smaller shops throughout the week while female shoppers are more inclined to do one big shop a week.
The research also shows that 70% of shoppers are spending more time in-store comparing prices and special offers. Similarly, 70% are shopping around for better prices.
When it comes to discounts and offers, similar to brand loyalty, shopping decisions based on discounts and offers remain quite steady with money off the usual price along with buy one get one free promotions being the most appealing.
The research also shows that promotional displays, on shelf advertising & free samples continue to be the most effective types of in store advertising.