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Choice of supermarket in Ireland is not driven by low prices
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Choice of supermarket in Ireland is not driven by low prices

Product range and convenience more likely to be “highly influential”

Product availability and quality are the most highly influential factors when it comes to where Irish shoppers choose to buy their groceries from – according to Nielsen’s new Global Retail-Growth Strategies Survey.

The survey on grocery shopping habits, which polled more than 30,000 online respondents in 61 countries, reveals that 60% of Irish shoppers cite the products they want regularly being in stock as “highly influential” in choosing which retailer to buy from, narrowly ahead of having high quality fresh produce (59%). Good value for money (58%) is the next most influential factor.

Four of the 10 most influential factors related to product range and quality, whilst three relate to each of price and convenience. Having the lowest prices ranks just sixth (52%) in terms of high-influence, although it’s much more of a factor in Ireland than in the UK (39%) and slightly more than globally (48%) and across Europe (47%).

These findings are good news for grocery retailers as it challenges them to take a broader view about the offering and not be so focused on price.

Irish consumers are more interested in the right ranges of quality products than pure low prices. Value for money is more important than a low price, which is why the discounters do well as they offer good quality in addition to just low prices. These factors are coming through in the grocery price inflation we’ve seen since the start of 2016.

Convenience is key as nearly four-in-10 Irish consumers regard grocery shopping as a chore that they try to spend as little time on as possible, thus, supermarkets need to pay attention to providing a convenient and speedy experience that shoppers crave. Consumers are more likely to choose a grocery store by how short or fast the checkout lines are (36%) rather than whether they can use a loyalty card there. 

What additional in-store services would entice shoppers?

As shopping habits change and the role of stores evolves, the survey also addressed what extra in-store services are most likely to help grocery retailers entice consumers in.

Among additional services currently available in-store, banking services (used by 37% of shoppers where this service is available), petrol stations and pharmacy services (both 34%) and prepared food services (32%) are the most widely-used.

Among services not currently available in-store, postal services would be the most successful addition (would be used by 36% of shoppers if available), followed by pharmacy services (34%), petrol stations (30%) and health clinic services (29%).

Grocery retailers need to think about what extra services they can provide to help shoppers kill two, or even three, birds with one stone when it comes to a single supermarket visit. Banking services and petrol stations have been hugely successful in this regard and attracting future footfall will increasingly rely on identifying convenient services like these that appeal to the time-poor consumer.