Shopping Lists Become Tool to Save as Recession Lingers

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Shopping Lists Become Tool to Save as Recession Lingers


The shopper experience study conducted by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research revealed that 43 percent of general market shoppers report they “always” rely on a shopping list while in the store.

With a prolonged recession, consumers are coping by shifting to a home-centric and self-sufficient lifestyle, including restaurants for home-cooked meals. The study shows more consumers are pre-planning their shopping trips at home by making a shopping list with the intention to save money, navigate the store faster and avoid impulse purchases.

“We’ve found that the lines between what we call Pre-Tail, which are those activities that involve the preparation, seeking and selection of a product or store — and retail, where the purchase is made — are blurring as decision-making is moving from the store to home,” said Craig Elston, SVP of the Integer Group. “This blurred area is where brands and marketers need to position themselves to reap rewards now and, more importantly, when the economy recovers.”

The downside for brands with products not on the list is that they risk being overlooked by a consumer who is on a mission to get in the store, buy cheap and get out.

However, on the upside, 81 percent of those list-makers do not record specific brands on their shopping list, providing marketers with the opportunity to use at-shelf messaging to lure the consumer to buy their product over another brand. The study also shows that shopping lists are not always a barrier to impulse purchases. According to respondents, 78 percent of shoppers were enticed to buy something not on their list by either a sale or special promotion, and nearly a fourth of people noted they shop off-list because something on-shelf convinced them.

“Two thirds of respondents said they typically include quantity of a product needed but not details like the brand, size or price, which demonstrates these decisions are often made at the shelf,” said Randy Wahl, EVP, M/A/R/C Research. “This provides brands with the opportunity to persuade price-conscious consumers to reconsider one brand over another by enticing a unit size trade-up, for example.”

Data for the Checkout comes from a national survey conducted by Integer and M/A/R/C in which consumers are asked about their shopping attitudes, shopping behaviors and economic outlook. Topics range from criteria shoppers use to select retailers, to which in-store stimulus is most likely to drive purchase, to factors that might lead shoppers to leave an aisle empty-handed. The Checkout is available for download at Integer’s blog.