Value beats price for consumers

12 October 2011

NEW YORK: A majority of consumers around the world prioritise good value over low prices when making purchase decisions, a report has revealed.

Nielsen, the research firm, surveyed 25,000 web users in 51 countries, including Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, India, the UK and US.

The company found that 61% of consumers chose a specific grocery retailer at least partly because it offered excellent value, versus 58% selecting chains in an effort to secure the lowest prices and 57% emphasising convenience.

Another 55% of the panel typically went to stores with strong sales and promotions and 54% visited outlets reliably stocking their preferred items. By contrast, only 28% made decisions based on loyalty card schemes.

More broadly, 59% of interviewees were reducing household expenses by buying products on sale, with a further 48% using coupons, 40% making purchases from value retailers and 39% acquiring value packs.

An additional 24% were "stocking up" when on shopping trips, 22% had switched to cheaper health and beauty lines and 19% had opted for smaller packs at a lower unit price.

North Americans were by far the most likely to stock up when in stores, with 60% agreeing this was their primary reason for visiting a retailer, easily ahead of the 37% posted by Europeans, in second place.

Some 33% of Middle Eastern buyers and 32% of their Asia Pacific counterparts made "quick trips to replenish", the two highest scorers in this regard, while Latin America led for generally picking up a "few essentials" on 32%.

Participants in nations like Argentina, Brazil and Colombia also most frequently bought goods they had seen in ads, albeit on a modest 9%, beating 7% in North America and Europe and 6% in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Respondents in Asia Pacific visited value chains with the greatest regularity, on 44%, although over a third of Europeans and Americans did the same.

In all, 67% of Chinese shoppers used coupons to save money, as did two-thirds of Americans and their peers in Hong Kong, and more than 63% of Belgians, Portuguese, South Korean and Vietnamese.

Turning to ecommerce, 77% of contributors in APAC would consider ordering grocery goods via the web, a total coming in at 51% for Latin America, 48% for the Middle East, 35% for Europe and just 20% in North America.

"In Asia Pacific, fewer physical stores and a very digital consumer base equal a fertile distribution channel for online," said Jean-Jacques Vandenheede, a director at Nielsen Europe.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff