Shoppers continue to exhibit budget-conscious behaviors, research finds


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The purchasing behaviors of consumers continue to reflect the ever-challenging economic climate, according to a new report from Acosta Sales and Marketing.

In its biannual "The Why? Behind The Buy" report — which was produced with research from a random sample of 1,098 shoppers via Acosta's proprietary ShopperF1rst online survey — Acosta has revealed insights into the behavior and buying patterns of today's shoppers, as well as tips to help consumer packaged goods and retail marketers adapt to the ever-evolving shopping landscape. Some key findings included:

  • Shoppers making less than $45,000 are purchasing groceries less frequently from "quick trip" channels, such as drug and convenience stores, while shoppers with incomes more than $100,000 are increasing visits to mass merchandisers;

  • Despite divergent shopping behaviors, shoppers with annual incomes of less than $45,000, as well as shoppers with annual incomes higher than $100,000, are making purchasing decisions based on similar factors, including price. For instance, 55% of shoppers surveyed bought more items on sale than last year, 71% planned their trip before going to the store; 88% of shoppers have bought buy-one, get-one offers and 50% of shoppers cut coupons. And although they are trying to save money, grocery shopping budgets have risen 11% due to higher unit prices;

  • Shoppers are creatures of habit: 84% of respondents reported buying what they have bought before, while 3-out-of-10 plan to continue purchasing store brands even when their budgets increase;

  • Today's consumer is a multichannel shopper, moving across store channels to find the best deals and products. This is especially prevalent among higher-income shoppers, Acosta said;

  • Digital marketing helps shopper productivity: Shoppers primarily use digital for pre-trip planning, with 36% logging onto home computers (mainly to find coupons) and 20% visited brand and retailer websites.

"Today's purchasing and marketing trends are reflective of a continued challenging economic climate," Acosta president and CEO Robert Hill said. "Shoppers are still budget-conscious, leading marketers to use discounts to spark demand. By helping CPG and retail marketers truly understand current and future shopper needs, and providing strategies to address them, 'The Why? Behind The Buy' can help them capture a greater share of consumer dollars."

To access the complete "The Why? Behind The Buy" report, click here.

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