Habits change in Indonesia

04 July 2011

JAKARTA: Buying habits are changing rapidly in Indonesia, with consumers more willing to visit supermarkets, make impulse purchases and reclaim coupons.

Nielsen, the research firm, reported that a quarter of household shoppers in the country are now men, compared with 19% in 2010.

A third of the male audience participate in this activity because they "really enjoy" or "like" it, measured against 51% seeing it as a "chore" and 15% "disliking" the task.

Among the 75% of Indonesian women that still make the primary purchase decisions, two-thirds viewed shopping as something they enjoyed, and 37% regarded it as necessary - if uninspiring.

"This shift in dynamics represents opportunities for manufacturers and retailers alike, provided they fully understand shoppers' behaviors," said Febby Ramaun, associate director for retailer services at Nielsen Indonesia.

"To reach the male shopper, they may want to look at creating an 'easy' shopping environment that appeals to the grab-and-go nature of men.

"They can also think about ways to convert that shopper into one who enjoys browsing the store more."

Impulse purchases are becoming increasingly common, as just 5% of customers "never" make spontaneous decisions, and 21% do not compile lists of the products they intended to buy before visiting stores.

Moreover, 39% "always" acquire extra goods, which can be assessed versus totals from 2003 showing 69% of consumers "might" consider obtaining additional offerings.

Traditional stores remain the dominant channels for buying soy sauce and branded powdered coffee, with a majority of shoppers purchase these lines via this route, and a fifth turning to minimarkets.

Elsewhere, over half of consumers bought powdered milk, hair and body lotion and infant milk formula from minimarkets and at least a third also looked to supermarkets and hypermarkets.

Organised retail held a similar status for ready-to-drink milk, detergent and sanitary napkins, where habits were more diverse.

Indeed, Nielsen stated that the average Indonesian typically utilises three or four different channels depending on their needs at the time.

As such, 36% of people frequenting minimarkets do so for "top-up" and "emergency" purchases, and 30% of individuals using wet markets pick up food for daily meals.

"Wet markets continue to play an important role in the country, with most consumers visiting them almost daily to purchase fresh vegetables, fruits and meats," said Ramaun.

"This channel still accounts for half of household spending. Modern trade stores are used for personal care products ... while traditional stores are used to purchase basic food commodities."

In all, 85% of adults simply opt for the closest store when obtaining groceries and a majority generally attend the same chain.

But 21% said they could be tempted to alternative outlets by promotions and coupons from newspaper and flyers, a lift of 16 percentage points year on year.

"A strategic location near housing developments continues to be the critical factor in a store's success, but retailers need to adopt other promotion tactics to attract new shoppers, particularly in the larger cities," said Ramaun.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff