How have shopping habits changed since 2020?

[21st May] Our shopping habits changed fairly drastically as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Remember the days of empty shelves, toilet roll shortages and stockpiling? It feels like a distant memory (thankfully)! While stock levels have reverted to normal, our behaviours appear to be more permanently changed.

In recent research we undertook with our research partner, FN Research, we asked 300 people in Belfast about their shopping habits, both past and present.

Over two thirds of main shoppers (67%) in Belfast plan ahead for what they’ll be buying in convenience shops and supermarkets. We know that generally people will have an idea of the items they wish to purchase, however often brand decision making isn’t completed until the items are in a trolley. This leaves an opportunity for advertising to influence the consumer to switch allegiance.

As a result of the pandemic, convenience stores have an increased role to play in communities and where people shop. 60% of women and 59% of main shoppers rely on their local shop more now than prior to the pandemic. In addition, basket totals are higher now, with 61% of females still making fewer shopping trips, but each with a higher value.

What’s the point of Point of Sale?

Targeting shoppers as they enter stores offers brands a unique opportunity to create a positive association before people even step foot in the shop. Where a brand decision has been made in advance of the shopping trip, advertising can encourage switching to alternatives, helping to cut through the noise of busy shelves. Almost 70% of people in Belfast aged 18 – 24 notice Point of Sale advertising.

56% of adults in Belfast aged 35 – 44 agreed that seeing advertising on the path to purchase helped them choose the brand to buy in store. Almost half (44%) agreed that POS enticed them to buy items that they hadn’t planned to purchase. Despite the high numbers of shoppers who enter with an idea of their purchases, this means there is also an opportunity to add to those shopping lists at the last window of influence. Our mobility data shows that footfall in grocery locations keeps increasing delivering huge opportunities for brands who appear on POS formats as well as those located on key arterials around the shops themselves.