Why Coles Little Shop has been so successful

Supermarket promotions like Coles’ Little Shop can have a major impact on consumer purchase behaviour, new Canstar Blue research has found.

Canstar Blue surveyed just over 3,000 Australian adults to find out what influence – if any – promotions such as Coles’ Little Shop and Woolworths’ Marvel Heroes Super Discs giveaway can have on shoppers.

When asked if such promotions sway them to spend more at the supermarket than they otherwise would, one in five survey respondents (21%) said that is the case for them.

A similar number (22%) agreed that these kinds of promotions influence where they do their shopping.

“Coles’ Little Shop promotion has set the standard for these kinds of offers going forward,” said Canstar Blue Editor, Simon Downes. “The excitement it has created seems to be unprecedented in Australia. They might just be little bits of plastic and card – but these little collectables have engaged consumers in a way I don’t think we have seen before, and may never see again.

“Most Australians spend thousands of dollars a year at their local supermarket, and many will snap up the opportunity to get ‘something for nothing’. But these promotions can actually lead to us spending more, so we are in effect paying for the apparent freebies. For the supermarkets, it’s genius – you create loyalty and get people spending more than they otherwise might.”

The Canstar Blue survey, conducted in August 2018, found that consumers aged 18-29 are most likely to be influenced by promotions like Coles’ Little Shop. Almost two in five respondents in this age group (38%) said such promotions sway them to spend more, with the same number likely to choose where they shop as a result. Generally, the older consumers get, the less interest there is. The survey found little difference between men and women.

Across the states, shoppers in New South Wales were found to be most likely to spend more because of promotions (24%), as well as choose where they shop as a result (25%). However, these numbers remain generally in line with most other states. The one exception was Queensland where just 16% said they are swayed to spend more because of promotions and 19% are influenced in where to shop because of them.

The Coles Little Shop promotion kicked off on July 18 and has been extended until September 11, or while stocks last. During this time, Coles has been giving away one miniature collectable for every $30 spent on groceries, with 30 little versions of big name brands to collect. There is also a limited number of rare mini Red Hands that bring a voucher to claim a $100 Coles gift card.

To collect all 30 toys, customers would need to spend at least $900. Mini collectable cases and other Little Shop merchandise such as Coles trolleys, baskets and aprons have also been available for purchase.

“It’s hard to imagine Little Shop going much better for Coles,” said Mr Downes. “Coles has given its existing customers another reason to head in-store – and spend more – while also capturing the imagination of many other shoppers usually loyal to a different chain.”

Supermarket Loyalty Programs

While Coles’ Little Shop is a great example of a successful supermarket campaign, the big chains also rely on ongoing rewards programs to keep their customers loyal all year round, Canstar Blue found.

The survey found that rewards programs such as Flybuys and Woolworths Rewards influence more than half of customers (58%) in where they choose to shop, with about a third spending more because of them (36%).

Three out of five shoppers (63%) generally find these types of rewards programs to be good value.

In addition to collecting miniature toys, consumers taking part in the Coles Little Shop promotion can buy a product from any participating brand and scan their Flybuys card for a chance to win a full Little Shop set.

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