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European Grocery Shoppers Become Digital Infoseekers as Cost of Shopping Continues to Rise

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European Grocery Shoppers Become Digital Infoseekers as Cost of Shopping Continues to Rise

European Grocery Shoppers Become Digital Infoseekers as Cost of Shopping Continues to Rise
September 22
09:52 2017

According to a survey of European shoppers by IRI, the big data and technology expert for consumer industries, the increasing use of the Internet, particularly via smart phones, is helping shoppers to find information on promotions and offers that will help them reduce the cost of their grocery shop. The survey, which was conducted among shoppers in seven European countries, found that more than one third of shoppers are using a mobile application to find information online – mainly about the best offers and product’s features – before they shop (34%) and while they shop (36%).  65% of these information seeking shoppers claim they are saving money with their efforts.

The majority of shoppers are looking for deals on higher price items such as make-up and laundry products which can provide them with more discount per item.

While 37% of Infoseekers are looking to save money with in-store promotions and offers, 22% of shoppers are looking for information on which store has the best deals that day/week. A further 38% of shoppers are searching for product ingredients and usage.

Livio Martucci, Director at IRI and analyst of the survey, says: “There is clear evidence that shoppers are carefully planning what they buy to save money as well as ensure that they are buying the healthier food options that they desire. Increased demand for healthier food options such as vegan or gluten free and concern about food provenance is clearly of key importance for Infoseekers. Further, they may also be looking to reduce waste for cost and environmental issues.”

Most shoppers (84%) are preparing a list (with 1 in 10 using their smartphone) to help them obtain savings.  The majority say they check what they need at home while preparing a list, but more than a third (35%) are reading in store leaflets or offers. Only 11% are impulse shoppers and do nothing to prepare their grocery shopping. Greeks are the most avid list makers (93% of all shoppers make a list in Greece). The French are more likely to use pen and paper (65% compared to an average of 55% across Europe), while British and Greek shoppers keep it all in their heads (23% and 25% respectively compared to an average in Europe of 18%). 10% of shoppers across Europe write their list on a digital device.

Unsurprisingly Southern Europeans facing more severe economic pressure are more active infoseekers, with 45% of Greeks, 39% of Spanish and 33% of Italians regularly using the internet to seek information before shopping. Germans are also very prudent (37% are infoseekers). This compares to 26% in Holland and 31% in the UK and France seeking information to save money.

The increasing use of mobile devices in-store provides opportunities for FMCG marketers to connect to shoppers. Of the third of European shoppers (36%) who use their smartphones in store, 17% are looking for promotions (Italy was 25% and Greece 22%), 16% are searching for information about products (26% in Italy and 21% in Spain) and 12% are using digital coupons.

“The survey also provides guidance for FMCG marketers on when best to communicate offers with shoppers,” adds Martucci. “There is clearly an opportunity for them to use mobile advertising and promotions while shoppers are in list prepping mode as well as when they are in store.”

According to the survey, 34% of European grocery shoppers have visited the Internet for their grocery shopping at least once in the last year, alongside other channels. On average they visit 5.4 channels. Just 21% of shoppers said they were likely to buy online in the future, while 37% said they were unlikely to buy online. More than half of shoppers still prefer to see and touch products in store rather than shop online. 28% of shoppers believe that it is easier to compare prices in store as well.

Livio Martucci says: “Shoppers are saying that they still prefer to be in store to see and touch products. There is a big opportunity for retailers to improve the physical experience in store and help shoppers to locate the best offers. Further, online retailers might consider making changes that make it easier for Internet users to compare prices, find promotions and new product launches.”

IRI will  make available the full results of its survey – including multichannel shopping and food wellness across Europe – on 2nd October.

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