Almost half (49%) of adult consumers in the USA prefer a discount on specific products in-store than earning points toward a larger reward through a loyalty programme (only 34%), according to the latest 'Customer Focus 2006: Grocery' study from Vertis Inc.
The study also found that, of those who have loyalty cards, 51% of men aged 50 and over and women aged 35 to 49 said they would prefer a discount to earning points. According to Jim Litwin, vice president of market insights for Vertis Inc., "We have noticed a shift in reward programmes and an increase in usage among younger demographics."
The study also examined the use of advertising inserts (circulars) among grocery consumers, and found that nearly all grocery insert readers (84%) use these circulars to compare prices with those of competing stores, while 52% use them to decide where they should shop for groceries.
The study, which surveyed respondents by telephone and the internet, aimed to garner new insight into the purchasing trends of American grocery consumers. Among its findings:
- In terms of the benefits of a loyalty card programme, 51% of professionals (white collar) consumers said they would prefer a discount on specific products in-store. This figure fell to 46% for blue collar consumers;
- Over two-fifths (42%) of Hispanic consumers said they would prefer to earn points for a larger reward, compared to 34% for all adults surveyed;
- Just over half (51%) of 'baby boomers' (those aged 60+) said they would prefer immediate discounts on specific products or services, compared to 45% of Generation X (those aged 30-40);
- Two out of five women (40%) aged 35-49 and one-third (32%) of men aged 35-49 said that advertising inserts have the most influence on their buying decisions - the highest proportion among all age groups;
- There has been an increase in how influential advertising inserts are among women aged 50+, from 28% in 2004 to 33% in 2006;
- Male weekday newspaper readers aged 50+ have increased their weekday advertising insert readership from 52% in 2002 to 68% in 2006;
- Almost one-quarter (24%) of women grocery shoppers aged 18-34 said that in the past two weeks they had visited a 'super discount store' most often to purchase perishable products (such as meat, produce, dairy or bakery items), compared to 17% in the same age group who had visited a super-sized grocery store;
- More than two in ten women grocery shoppers (23%) aged 18-34 (and 21% aged 35-49) said that in the past two weeks they had visited a super discount store most often to purchase non-perishable products (such as rice, pasta, canned goods or cereals), compared to 12% of women in the same category (and 16% aged 35-49) who had visited a super-sized grocery store;
- One-third of men aged 18-34 (33%) said the delicatessen is the most important department to consider when deciding which grocery store they want to shop at;
- The bakery department was considered to be the most important department among adults aged 35-49, for both men and women (ranked first by 26% each);
- Only 9% of women and 7% of men aged 18-34 said that the canned goods department would be a deciding factor between stores;
- Of the grocery ad insert readers, 51% of men aged 35-49 said they regularly use the coupons they get from inserts or circulars, compared to 45% of women in the same age group;
- More than one-third (36%) of grocery ad insert-reading women aged 50+ said they occasionally use the coupons they get from grocery ad inserts or circulars, compared to 30% of men aged 50+ in the same category;
- Men (27%) and women (23%) aged 18-34 who are grocery ad insert readers said they rarely use the coupons they receive in grocery advertising inserts or circulars.
The Vertis Customer Focus annual study tracks consumer behaviour across a variety of industry segments (including home improvement, furniture, grocery, sporting goods, home electronics, optical, insurance, credit cards, non-profit, financial, retail, office supplies, and discount stores) and media (including advertising inserts, direct marketing, and the internet).