The idea that shoppers always choose their favourite brands has been challenged by new research from customer segmentation specialist Clusters.
A study of more than 1,000 people revealed that when it comes to everyday essentials like bread, breakfast cereal and toilet rolls, most are willing to switch to another brand. In fact, just 10% choose the same products every time they go shopping compared to 34% who say they are swayed by promotions and special offers. A further 20% buy other brands just to try them out.
Of all the groceries, consumers are most likely to stick to the same brand of coffee (37%) and condiments such as ketchup (35%) – however a staggering 92% are happy to pick different varieties of ready meal. Bottled water, tinned goods and cleaning products also generated low levels of customer loyalty.
Managing director of Clusters Chris Cowan, who led the research, said:
“Consumers have never been more savvy and data like this confirms that they have no qualms about moving between products. It suggests that grocery brands now need to work harder to retain customers – but the good news is that they can also tempt people away from their rivals, especially if they are competitive on price.
“Even though coffee and condiments came out on top, it is surprising the figure wasn’t higher as different brands have traditionally been known for their distinctive tastes. Now it seems that shoppers are willing to take a risk and try another brand, which they may find tastes even better for a fraction of the price.”
The study also revealed that just 6% of respondents admitted they buy products if they have seen them advertised.
“Figures like these may ring alarm bells for marketers, but many people are still influenced by what they see on television or read in magazines, even if they don’t admit it when asked,” explained Chris.
“According to our study, a fifth of consumers cited trying something new as a reason to change brands so there is every chance some of these people will be driven by advertising.”