In-store marketing is more influential than television advertising when it comes to grocery purchase decisions, according to research on shopper behaviour commissioned by TorchMedia.

The economic downturn is having little effect on grocery spend and shoppers are making more trips to the supermarket than previously thought, across the breadth of shopping environments from smaller local shopping centres to super-regional centres.

“The results show definitively that there is a strong need for brands to communicate with shoppers while they are in-store to influence their purchase decisions. Shoppers want information based advertising, such as recipe cards at the shelf or other forms of advertising that inform and add value,” says Kirsty Dollisson, group marketing director at TorchMedia.

Shoppers were interviewed in a series of vox pops conducted in tandem with ‘accompanied shops’, where research firm Directional Insights followed a cross-section of main grocery buyers on their shopping trips to learn about their attitudes and behaviours.

“For marketers and brand managers, now is clearly the time to invest in in-store communications to stand out from your competitors. But care is needed: while currently specials are clearly a huge factor in the purchase decision, it is important that brands avoid falling into the trap of over-discounting. In-store advertising can play an important role by adding value,” explains Dollisson

The key findings were:

  • Most grocery shoppers use a shopping list, however they record items not brands
  • Most main grocery buyers make one or twotop-up shopping trips a week
  • Awareness of in-store activity is high
  • Specials and promotions are increasingly influential, and
  • When prompted on the impact of television advertising, the vast majority said it had little or no impact on their purchase decisions.