Shopper marketing: Retail in recession

Tim Eales
SymphonyIRI Group

In the continuing uncertain global economy FMCG brands need to be more savvy in their price promotions and find new ways to stimulate purchase, explains Tim Eales of SymphonyIRI.

Economic uncertainty continues to affect shopper behaviour all over Europe. Shoppers are minimising their household expenditure by shopping around more, choosing store's own brands over national brands and leveraging a growing number of promotional offers. But while a ‘pause before purchase’ mentality continues to assert itself, the price of the average consumer shopping basket is increasing as more people choose to stay at home and cook, instead of eating out.

For FMCG marketers trying to improve over-squeezed profit margins, navigating the complex trends across many products and stores, nationally and internationally, is tough. They face multiple challenges. On top of continued raw material cost pressures, manufacturers are battling the ever-present threat of ‘tiered’ own-label products that aim to satisfy a wide range of consumers; the demands of negotiating premium shelf space, and then ensuring that stock is always available on shelf, not stuck somewhere in the supply chain. Finding the optimum price and promotional approach often seems to take the complexity beyond solution.