Insights for Marketers:
Consumer packaged goods marketers should be mindful of the ways that shoppers plan and execute their shopping lists. Understanding consumer behavior before and during the shopping trip is instrumental in getting shoppers to (a) plan on buying their product and (b) actually buy their product.
Seeing how some shoppers are inclined to research lowest prices in advance, supermarket brands should make it easy to find and redeem discounts for their products. They should plan promotional pricing strategically, continuously offering essential “on-list” items in such a way that optimizes foot traffic to their store (in the case of supermarket companies) or preference for their brand over a competitor product (in the case of CPG brands being sold at supermarkets).
Besides ensuring their likelihood of consideration pre-trip, brands should have a plan for encouraging users to buy their product in-store. Across our online focus group panel, going “off-list” was a common phenomenon, one that was encouraged mainly by product discounts but could be combined with factors like shelf placement and usage of promotional displays for maximum impact.
Video Chat Network was tasked with understanding the customer journey from shopping list to shopping cart. Here are some key consumer insights from our mobile marketing research study on how people make their shopping lists:
1. One person is mainly in charge of putting a shopping list together for a household, while other family members are invited to contribute items. The person in charge of the list tends to be the mother, with the father and children having opportunities to add their own items to the list before the shopping trip. Some of our respondents had a whiteboard or notebook at home where family members could add their items, while others used mobile applications that allow multiple users to collaborate on one shopping list.
2. While several of our online focus group respondents used these high-tech shopping list solutions, just as many seemed to be fans of good old pencil and paper. Most panelists were partial to one approach or another, with a few mentioning they use both high and low tech shopping lists depending on the nature of their shopping trip. Larger shopping trips were seen as more likely to necessitate using a shopping list app.
3. Most shoppers are not brand-specific in their shopping lists: they plan which product categories they need and choose a brand based on price. Some focus group panelists kept shopping list categories more broad, basing them on general product types like “Snacks for Kids”, instead of “Pudding Cups”.
4. Many shoppers do their research before writing out their lists, scanning sales and coupons to find the lowest prices before deciding what to buy at which stores. Some respondents make this a fixed part of their weekly routine – printing and clipping coupons, saving them into folders and planning their shopping trips around where and when products will be cheapest.
5. Shoppers tend to go “off list” and purchase unplanned products when these items are on sale or pertain to non-essential “impulse” type categories. Our virtual focus group panelists described making these purchases when there was a deal too good to pass up, even if they didn’t urgently need the product being discounted. Unplanned items were more likely to be non-essential, purchased due to promotional pricing or simply on a whim.
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