Coles shoppers the most loyal (why Little Shop worked)

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When it comes to buying groceries, Australians can be a fickle bunch, with just two out of five doing all their shopping with the same supermarket chain, new Canstar Blue research has found. However, some customers are more loyal than others.

Canstar Blue surveyed almost 3,000 adults and found that just 39% do all of their shopping with the same supermarket chain, with Coles customers the most likely to do so at 44%, ahead of Woolworths (39%) and ALDI (27%).

While convenience is the main factor behind the loyalty of Coles and Woolworths shoppers, low prices are the biggest draw to ALDI customers, the research found.

Coles shoppers were most likely to report shopping rewards as another factor for always visiting the same supermarket chain, while Woolworths customers were most likely to cite quality products.

The survey, which was conducted over a two-week period in June, also found that Coles customers are the most likely to pay attention to special offers and promotions, and to make impulse purchases. Woolworths customers are most likely to think they could save by shopping elsewhere.

Canstar Blue Editor Simon Downes said that supermarket loyalty comes down to a range of factors, not just the lowest prices.

“Lots of consumers believe there are savings to be had by switching supermarkets, but they are content with the value they receive shopping at their current store,” he said.

“Rewards points, the perception of better-quality products, and the convenience of always going to the same store keeps customers loyal. But the supermarkets still need to keep their customers engaged with new offers and promotions to keep things interesting, which is why we’re likely to see more promotions like Coles Little Shop going forward.”

Across the states, the research found that shoppers in Western Australia (44%) and New South Wales (41%) are most likely to do all of their shopping with the same supermarket, with those in Victoria (38%) and South Australia least likely (35%).

It also found that young shoppers aged 18-29 are the most loyal to their supermarket of choice, with 50% always visiting the same chain. This compares to just one in three (32%) consumers aged in their 60s.

Why Coles Little Shop worked so well

While the survey was conducted before Coles launched its hugely successful Little Shop promotion – which sees customers collect one miniature version of popular products for every $30 spent on groceries – it now provides an insight into why it has proved so successful.

Not only were Coles customers found to be the most loyal, it was found that they are the most influenced by special deals and promotions, and crucially, the most likely to make impulse purchases! They were also most likely to cite rewards incentives as a reason for their loyalty.

“When you see outcomes like these, the success of Coles Little Shop really starts to make sense,” said Mr Downes. “Coles will know its customers better than anyone, and with the Little Shop campaign it gave them exactly what they wanted.

“For Coles, it was a genius move. Not only did it give customers another reason to remain loyal, but it gave them an extra incentive to spend more in-store.

“Most of us spend thousands of dollars a year at the supermarket, so we crave anything that provides some additional value for our money. Coles absolutely nailed it with Little Shop, and now we’ll see what the other supermarkets can do to try to beat it.”

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