Grocery store shopper

Shoppers often start with a list but in-store marketing and brands can greatly influence the final purchasing decision.

The vast majority of grocery shoppers create a list before they go to the food store. But, marketing researchers are finding that those lists are not written in stone, so to speak.

In fact, a recent survey of 1,000 shoppers by Inmar Intelligence found that while 85 percent of shoppers will create a list, most will not stick to the list when they enter the store. Only 11 percent of shoppers create lists with brand names, meaning in-store marketing can heavily influence the final purchasing decision for any given category.

What influences shopper behavior once they start browsing the shelves and walking past end-caps? Here are some of the findings from Inmar Intelligence:

For shoppers not loyal to a specific brand, price is the most significant factor. According to the survey, 80 percent of shoppers use price to decide what brand to buy. Another 44 percent said they would buy if they had a coupon. Another 27 percent said they are persuaded after seeing in-store signage featuring a brand and 15 percent will buy a product recommended by a store associate.

Store brands are almost always considered cheaper. Speaking of price, another recent survey by Inmar asked consumers about store brands and found some results that may or may not be too surprising. A vast majority of shoppers (86.9 percent) said they buy store brand products to save money. When asked if they consider store brands to be cheaper, more expensive or about the same as name brand products, the majority (56 percent) said they consider the store brands to be cheaper. On the flip side, a similar percentage (56.7 percent) said they consider store brand products to be of lesser quality than name brand items.

For non-list impulse purchases, an item on sale can trigger a purchase. Seventy-three percent of shoppers said they would be inspired to add a non-list item to their cart if they see it on sale. Finding a coupon would induce 43 percent of shoppers to purchase a non-list item while 40 percent said they might purchase if they learned that the product is “new” or available in a “new flavor.” Meanwhile, an equal percentage of shoppers (29 percent) said they may purchase after seeing a non-list item featured in an in-store display or featured in a recipe idea.

Store loyalty programs impact consumer purchase decisions. The survey asked shoppers if receiving a discount, points or another form of credit through a store loyalty program after purchasing a certain brand would influence their decisions to buy. More than 80 percent said receiving those perks is “always” or “sometimes” influential. Almost a quarter said it “always” influences their decision. Interestingly, the survey also found that 52 percent of shoppers have joined more than one grocery store loyalty program due to rising food prices.

In-store product advertisements can influence buying decisions. The majority of shoppers – 69 percent — recall in-store product advertisements. Another 69 percent who saw an in-store ad later browsed for that featured product. And, the survey found that 61 percent of consumers who saw an in-store advertisement later purchased the featured product.

Loyalty program members clip digital coupons but don’t always remember to redeem them in-store. Another Inmar Intelligence survey conducted recently found that the vast majority of loyalty program members joined the program to access coupons and discounts. In fact, more than 85 percent said they were “somewhat” or “very likely” to clip a digital coupon when they see one on a store’s website or app. But, more than half of those consumers (54 percent) said they forget they have digital coupons available to them. Almost seven percent said they “always” forget the digital coupons.

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