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CPM Expert Speak: The real impact on retail of changing consumer behaviour

Tags: Retail Insights | CPM Expert Speak, Retail Sales, Field Sales, Field Marketing, Shopper Behaviour

Our latest CPM Expert Speak feature comes from Karen Jackson, CPM UK Managing Director. 

Karen has been working at CPM for over 15 years and has held senior roles in most of the company’s divisions - including Field Sales, Contact Centres and Logistics & Distribution; and most recently she was appointed as Managing Director of CPM UK in 2014. 

Karen looks at the evolution of retail during an era of constant change in shopper behaviour and shares the latest research findings in a downloadable insight pack; providing top tips on how retailers and brands can offer customized solutions which reflect differing shopper missions.

The real impact on retail of changing consumer behaviour

'According to the latest research findings, shoppers spend an average of five minutes in a convenience store.'

As shoppers we have significantly changed our shopping habits and are now making 24 different shopping trips each month across nearly 4 channels and have developed inherent habits that retailers are now playing catch up to respond to.

Without a doubt, one of the hardest impacted areas has been traditional grocery superstores and hypermarkets with all of the big 4 seeing negative growth 2014 vs 2013. 

The rise of the discounters, the consumer desire for value, our challenging economy and the growth of on-line have all contributed to what has felt like one of the bleakest pictures for some years. 

However this group of retailers haven’t dominated the retail landscape without being resilient and they are tackling head on the 2 biggest areas to influence the return of the consumer spend into their stores:

1.      Value – from price matching vs Aldi and Lidl (not just each other), price locks and roll backs; the big 4 are relentlessly focused on matching and exceeding on value. See our Retail Insight pack below for further insight. 

2.      Reasons To Visit – value alone won’t be enough to entice shoppers back into bigger stores - they need to ensure that shoppers can do more when they visit.
From concession stores – like Argos in JS & Decathlon in Asda –  enhanced events and sampling experiences, community meeting places and service based concessions you will soon be able to get more, do more and enjoy unique experiences which can’t be replicated on-line or in smaller stores. See our downloadable Retail Insight pack below for further insight. 

But this is just one side of the coin. How have changing shopper habits impacted the convenience retailers?

Year on year symbol stores, and the smaller format versions of the big 4, has enjoyed the benefit of this change in consumer behaviour growing at 4.3% and 16.3% respectively and the convenience market as a whole is set to grow by over 26.3% by 2019

Has this been luck or great planning?  We think a little of both.

It is clear that convenience retailers who have responded to these changes have seen the benefit whilst some traditional independent retailers have suffered with continual decline in sales, share of market and estate size.

Successful convenience retailers have done this through continual focus on 3 key areas:

1.   Shopper missions – whilst we are visiting these stores, our key needs have evolved. We now want food for now, food for tonight, food on the go but the need to get in and get out quickly is still there. Retailers have responded with merchandising by shopper missions, flexing space to reflect the time of day and providing inspiring total solutions all in one place.  This really answers the needs of today’s shoppers and provides a truly local service led offering

2.    Food on the go – retailers have really responded to the opportunity to capitalise on pass though trade by providing an increased range of ready to eat hot foods and solutions.  Over 27% of convenience stores now have coffee machines, 19% have hot food to go and 5% of stores have microwaves! Download our Retail Insight pack below for further information. 

3.   Offering more – time is a priority for the shopper in this channel. Therefore as a retailer, if you can provide more services and enable the shopper to get what they need quickly and easily then are on to a winner. From phone top ups to parcel collection and drop offs and even prescription collections, this retail channel is truly living up to the badge of convenience retailing.

Whilst we have seen some of the most significant changes in shopper behaviour and the retail landscape for some years, what we do know is more change is inevitable………

To discover top tips and winning examples on how retailers and brands are tailoring their offering to meet changing consumer behaviours ; download our Retail Insight pack below.

To  talk to any of our CPM UK retail experts call Andy Buck on 07809 585751 or Karen McGinn on 07525 892616 or to find out more on our field marketing and retail field sales solutions; visit Our Services page. 


Sources: Mintel, IGD, ACS

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