UK shoppers look beyond price

19 June 2012

LONDON: Only a quarter of UK shoppers believe that good value relies on paying the lowest possible price, according to Shoppercentric.

The research agency conducted an online survey of 1,074 adults, some 28% of which perceived "good value" as "getting the most for the money I planned to spend".

One in four interviewees argued the "low or lowest price" was constitutive of excellent value, 21% hoped to obtain the "right quality" of product without stretching their budget, and 20% cited buying something "worth the money".

More broadly, the analysis identified four customer groups, the first of which emphasised "fair price and quality". This segment made up 34% of the sample.

A further 23% of individuals questioned focused on securing the "lowest price for the best quality I can afford". Elsewhere, "holistic value seekers", or 22% of the panel, adopted a flexible view depending on what they were buying.

The final 21% of consumers fell into the "pile it high" category, with their decisions primarily motivated by balancing quantity and value, such as defining how much an item cost per 100g.

"Buy one get one" free deals were the most attractive type of promotion for 76% of respondents, down from 79% in 2009. Receiving money off single purchases logged 66%, and "three for two" deals hit 50%, both sliding by three percentage points.

In contrast, the proportion of participants using coupons had grown from 47% to 53% in this period, when the uptake of loyal card offers also improved from 45% to 48%.

The number of consumers buying bundled products like "meal deals" reached 24%, and 14% took advantage of promotions including free gifts or competitions, both up by three percentage points on 2009.

Despite having struggled to maintain revenue growth in 2012, Tesco was the major retailer most associated with value, scoring 42%. However, the firm registered just 22% in terms of product quality.

Discounters such as Aldi, Lidl and Netto were seen as delivering the lowest prices by 40% of shoppers, and posted the strongest total for helping customers get the most for their money, on 38%.

Asda led the way for providing appealing promotions on 24%, as did Waitrose regarding the sale of high quality fresh produce and meat on 50%.

Data sourced from Shoppercentric; additional content by Warc staff