Shoppers feel deals are ‘the new normal’

November 22, 2011

Shoppers come to stores with purchases already researched and price expectations in mind before wheeling in their carts.

Consumers may have lowered expectations in ‘the new normal.’ Many hope to offset this by working smarter to acquire deals from retailers with little muss or fuss. They want savings and efficiency, and a vast majority enter stores with a limited set of brands in mind they’ll consider buying.

Because shoppers expect deals today, it is “critical” that CPG companies “take measures to enhance brand loyalty by connecting early and often with key audiences in environments outside of the store,” said Pat Conroy, consumer products sector leader at Deloitte.  

“Smarter shoppers know what they want and how to get it for the best price. As they become more efficient [at that], companies…must differentiate themselves from the competition," he added upon the release of Deloitte’s 2011 American Pantry Study, which polled more than 4,000 U.S. household shoppers and food preparers.  

Among key findings:
•    At least 70% of items in shopping carts are at discounted prices, for nearly one-third (30%) of disciplined consumers. Some 80% of them do their own research and have pre-determined price points and savings in mind before the store trip. Also, two-thirds (66%) shop when they know items will be on sale.
•    75% believe they shop smarter than a year ago, 86% are more precise in what they buy, and 80% are more time-efficient.
•    An overwhelming 90% of shoppers know what they’ll buy before entering the store, 83% will consider a limited set of brands, and more than 80% feel the recession has helped them realize which brands they care about and which they don’t.
•    90% have already determined which private labels work for their households and which do not, 88% feel they know which ones are good or not, and nearly half (49%) have no interest in trying additional private labels.

The Lempert Report has long felt that deals are short-term fixes - they don’t differentiate brands for the long-term or sustain a smart financial path. Therefore, we urge CPG and retail to figure in deals as a necessary part of doing business, but to mine other other aspects of their offers to truly differentiate and build consistent followings.