Press Room

Choice of supermarket not driven by low prices

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

Dublin – 1 July 2016. 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%).

Nielsen Ireland’s commercial director, Matt Clark, said 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,” he said. “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.”

Clark also outlines the importance of convenience: “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.” He points out: “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 (29%).”

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,” concludes Clark. “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.”


The findings in this survey are based on respondents with online access in 61 countries (unless otherwise noted).  While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations—something particularly relevant when reporting an activity such as watching video-on-demand. In developing markets where online penetration is lower, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. In addition, survey responses are based on claimed behaviour rather than actual metered data. Cultural differences in reporting sentiment are likely factors in the outlook across countries. The reported results do not attempt to control or correct for these differences; therefore, caution should be exercised when comparing across countries and regions, particularly across regional boundaries.


Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more information, visit