Price key for young consumers

29 September 2011

LONDON: Price will remain a key factor in shaping the long term purchase habits of young consumers in France, Germany and the UK, a survey by Oracle, the business services firm, has found.

Based on a poll of 1,514 people aged 19-23 years old in these markets, the company reported that 77% put price among the core list of criteria they "liked" about the retail stores they visited.

This matched the score posted by the products available, while 71% favoured having a wide choice. A more modest 36% prioritised the "look and feel" of stores, and a retailer's brand image was important for 33%.

Some 62% of the panel agreed stores with the best value or price would attract them in the future, 61% desired a broad range of products, 38% wanted quality service, 30% sought a tangible experience and 11% could be swayed by ad campaigns.

When identifying factors likely to influence purchase behaviour in 2025, 79% of the sample cited the cost of items on sale. Advertising was second on 5%, and service, brand image and promotions hit 3% apiece.

This came in ahead of product assortment on 2.5%, selling "cool" goods on 2%, and the opinions of friends, on just under 1%, the same total as the in-store environment and having the latest technology in branches.

At present, shopping in stores was one of the preferred channels for 87% of respondents, compared with 77% affording the web a similar status, 33% for auction sites such as eBay, 4% for mcommerce and 2% for Facebook.

Regarding digital tools, 58% of those polled use in-store technology for promotions, coupons and loyalty schemes, 45% access product review websites and 20% order home deliveries while in bricks and mortar outlets.

An additional 16% utilise mobile apps, climbing to 21% in the UK, and 11% leverage electronic shelf labels and QR codes to get more information concerning specific products.

In all, 53% of French and British participants visited ecommerce sites to research and to buy, versus 40% in Germany. However, 46% of Germans solely conduct research in this way, a double-digit lift on the other markets.

Elsewhere, social networking has a limited role in determining the commercial choices of consumers, as 14% shop through this channel, and only 11% stated platforms like Facebook influenced their purchase decisions.

Just 17% of 19-34 year olds regularly spread information about brands or promotions via new media, and 36% occasionally do so. Another 18% share details of good experiences, falling to 8% for bad experiences.

Data sourced from Oracle; additional content by Warc staff