UK shoppers becoming less conscious of costs and more interested in brands, claims new research

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New research into the shopping habits of the UK consumer from Gekko Field Marketing reveals that as we approach a general election, habits have changed over the past year, with cost consciousness dropping by 7%.

The research also reveals that the importance of brand status has risen by 5%, showing that shoppers are increasingly more likely to make purchases based on brand alone. This indicates that shoppers are growing increasingly more confident in retail, with cutting costs less of a priority than last year.

The opportunity for brands and shops to convert potential buyers both on and offline has increased, with only 32% buying products that they have trusted over time. Brands have the opportunity to capitalise on this consumer behaviour by supporting their products in-store. By extending their ATL campaigns in-store with merchandising, and by educating shoppers on the benefits of their products by using trained brand ambassadors, brands can guide shoppers through their in-store journeys, transforming them from shoppers into customers.

In-store social media engagement has also increased over the past year, with consumers increasingly using social media in the beauty and clothing categories to help make their purchasing decisions. The number of consumers checking-in to Facebook whilst shopping for beauty products has doubled in the past year. The number of shoppers using Instagram and Facebook to recommend clothing purchases has also doubled. This yearly increase in social media use indicates that the connected, online experience is becoming more influential on consumers in-store.

The Shopper Tribes research, now in its second year, analysed UK consumer’s shopping habits across retail, indicating the existence of five shopper tribes:

  • Bargain shoppers
  • Functional Shoppers
  • Status Shoppers
  • Social shoppers
  • Habitual shoppers

The bargain shopper tribe places emphasis on the long-term investment within electronics and DIY over beauty. The functional shopper tribe cares more about well the product works for them, most notably in beauty and electronics. Electronics have become the status symbol for the status shopper tribe, over beauty and DIY, supported by the growing dominance of smartphones and tablets.

Daniel Todaro, MD, Gekko Group commented, “As confidence in the economy grows, indicated by the 7% decline in price as a consideration for Shopper Tribes, the most interesting statistic is the importance one fifth of respondents place on brand and in particular brand status. In crowded categories, Gekko understands the importance of a brand’s need to effectively communicate to its target audience through its ATL to create an important emotional connection. However, even more important is the customer experience through the shopper journey into retail. Through Field Marketing, brands can ensure that this emotional connection translates throughout the shopper journey, ultimately converting shoppers into customers of your brand.”