The Award for the Greatest Ever Shopper Give-Away…

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The Award for the Greatest Ever Shopper Give-Away…

… Goes to those who helped shoppers through financially challenging times and who sacrificed their sales and profits in order to help their customers spend less. But who are they, and why did they do it?

As bricks and mortar grocery retail settled into it’s prime, along came online shopping, and grocers were quick to jump on the bandwagon and seize an opportunity to not only increase their sales, but to create new ways to generate revenue. The result of this foray into the world of online shopping was something that benefited shoppers is such an amazing way, it truly does warrant a medal! Let’s have a look at the reasons why they are nominated…

There is less temptation

As the bricks and mortar supermarkets continued to grow in size, shoppers succumbed to more and more temptation to make impulse purchases and in turn – buy more. For those items that shoppers saw and couldn’t resist popping into their trolleys, online shopping has removed this temptation entirely with most purchases (over 75%*) coming directly from past purchases or ‘favourites’ lists. In other words, shoppers are buying the same things they have bought before and sticking to what they know – therefore purchasing far fewer new products. So now there is a new challenge for NPD (New Product Development): how to appeal to customers who are shopping for their groceries online.

*According to SBXL research

Shoppers are giving products less consideration

When shopping online for groceries, less than 2%* of purchases were made from the product page for that particular item, this is due to the fact that there is much less consideration involved when opting for one product over another. So why, in that case, do brands invest in product page enhancements that really don’t make much difference when it comes to influencing shoppers?

*According to SBXL research 

The sensory appeal has been removed

In bricks and mortar stores, shoppers have a veritable onslaught of multi-sensory temptation thrown their way, whereas online there is little more than a thumbnail image to coax a shopper to make a purchase. This results in shoppers being less emotionally engaged and being far more rational in their methods of selecting products to purchase. Great news for the savvy shopper, not so much for new product sales.

It’s easier for shoppers to change their minds

When shopping in a bricks and mortar shore, shoppers only know the amount they have spent once the cashier has rung all the items through and presented them with their total – meaning it is too late to put stuff back if they have overspent! Online – there are visible running totals that calculate with each individual item, providing shoppers with plenty of opportunity to re-think impulse decisions and go back and remove any item they wish from their basket, or even to save their basket and come back at a later date – all before making a single purchase.

To summarise, online shopping has provided us with a means to simply repeat our past purchase behaviour and easily re-order our favourite items. The temptation of ‘impulse shopping’ has been removed with add-on items not being placed in our eye line at the checkout and we can keep an eye on what we’re spending as we’re going along and remove anything that we have had the chance to reconsider. As a result, we are spending less because we are selecting fewer items and only purchasing the items we need or have decided on prior to logging on.

If that wasn’t incentive enough to shop online, the final benefit to shoppers is that retailers pay for it. Shopping online costs stores approximately £5.00 per transaction, so not only are shoppers buying less and making more intelligent choices with regards to their online shop – they are being paid for the privilege!

So to answer the question we asked at the beginning – who deserves a medal? Well – everyone that has contributed to the current state of online grocery shopping.

Here at SBXL we are constantly revolutionising the way in which we can increase appeal to shoppers – by thoroughly researching and gaining insight into their behaviour. My name is Phillip Adcock, and I am the Managing Director here at Shopping Behaviour Explained Ltd. With over 20 years of experience in the field and 3 books written on the subject, I have the skills and insider knowledge to help you appeal to shoppers and boosts sales and profits. For more information, email or call me direct on 07960 109 876.



Here at SBXL, we are constantly conducting research to provide insight into shopper behaviour, and our current self-funded project is comparing bricks and mortar shopping to online. We aim to dig deeper into how the perceptions and actions of the seasoned bricks and mortar supermarket shopper change when shopping online. Interested in knowing the results? Send me an email at to find out – and when you do, would you mind answering to following 2 questions?

  1. Why would you use a shopper research agency?
  2. What would you want from them?

I look forward to hearing from you.