Evolving shopping trends

SUPERMARKET CHECK OUTThe days of Australian shoppers making one weekly trip to the supermarket are long gone. The trends indicate a growing frequency of shopping visits due to longer working hours and the importance placed on fresh produce. While older shoppers remain more habitual in their spending, the younger generations have little regularity in shopping times and spending patterns. The Woolworths trolley trends (2013) indicates that Aussies spend an average of just 34% of the weekly food budget on a primary shopping day. Most working individuals are too busy and lack the forward planning to do just one shopping trip per week, as our elders would have done. Smaller convenience stores are experiencing a comeback with Coles reporting a 49% growth in the last decade, catering for the growing movement of flexible shoppers.

A rise in cooking shows, food magazines and nutritional media have contributed to changing behavioural trends, linking food shopping to the pleasure of cooking. Following an episode of ‘My kitchen rules’ or ‘Masterchef’ consumers are more likely to travel to the shops, inspired and ready to get creative. Shopping trips have become less rigid and more enjoyable, with many consumers leisurely travelling the isles, open to the prospect of impulse buys and increasing their exposure to advertising.

Set shopping days are losing their bearings as spontaneous visits are fast becoming the norm, particularly for those travelling to and from work. The most popular days of the week for shopping are weekends, when busy workers have the available time. Whilst some of the older generations prefer Saturdays, Pre-boomers have a tendency towards Fridays, and the budget conscious often select Thursdays, following government payments.

New research from American Express has recently revealed a series of categories for previously classified ‘spontaneous’ shoppers- uncovering particular buying patterns amongst what previously appeared random.  Most Australian shoppers can identify with at least 2 categories which include;

Clock watchers 21%): Shoppers who spend at the same times each week

Loyalists (24%): Those who spend at the same stores weekly

Planners (20%): Shoppers who visit a variety of stores and locations

Localists (21%): Those who frequent the same area weekly

Sale seekers (41%): Shoppers who spend the majority on offers and deals

Passionists (30%): Who spend most of their cash on a single interest

Paydayers (28%): Those that shop around payday

Cyber spenders (22%): Shoppers who spend more online than in-store.

Although this method of categorizing was initially based upon shopper trends covering food, fashion, entertainment and technology it can also assist in highlighting interesting spending habits relevant to more specific avenues such as supermarkets. Even though the trends are more dispersed and harder to identify than previous generations it highlights remaining patterns which can help drive advertising.

Based on the Commonwealth Bank statistics the average Australian spends $56 per person on groceries within a household and the average spend on dining out has dropped 9% over the last 4 years. The marketing surrounding cooking in recent years, along with the post financial crisis mindset, are both attributed to this trend. Cooking is becoming more flexible as people experiment more in the kitchen, seeking out inspiration and new products when shopping, contributing to the high figure of impulse decisions made in-store.

For more information on in-store advertising that can assist with impulse decision making click on the tab  ‘Information for Advertisers’ on the Distribution Media website.

Commonwealth Bank. 2013. Money management: Eat in or out? Australians love convenience. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.commbank.com.au/blog/eat-in-or-out-australians-love-convenience.html.  [Accessed 31 March 15].

News.com.au. 2013. Modern lifestyle means big weekly grocery shop a thing of the past. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/home/modern-lifestyle-means-big-weekly-grocery-shop-a-thing-of-the-past/story-fnet0iz7-1226738609401.  [Accessed 31 March 15].

Power Retail. 2015. 8 Major spending patterns in Australian shoppers. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.powerretail.com.au/multichannel/spending-patterns-in-shoppers/ . [Accessed 31 March 15].

Woolworths Limited (2013) Woolworths trolley trends. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.woolworths.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/e6bbdaaa-e425-49a5-94f7-67f943e85b2b/Woolworths+Trolley+Trends+2013+28.8.13.pdf?MOD=AJPERES [Accessed 31 March 15].