While 60% of shoppers make one main grocery shopping trip each week, 93% of shoppers say they also have to make top-up trips during the week, according to new research published by IGD, highlighting the key reasons for frequent top-up trips.
IGD's 'Shopper Insight Store Formats' report shows that there are two main reasons for such widespread top-up shopping. First, 48% of shoppers buy products they have run out of during the week (usually being key items such as bread and milk). Second, 37% of shoppers say they made top-up shopping trips to buy products that they prefer to buy more regularly than once a week, such as fresh and perishable foods.
In addition, 22% of shoppers interviewed said they use top-up shopping trips to buy something that they have forgotten in their main shop, and another 10% because they need a specific item.
Who gets the top-up?
IGD's research showed that shoppers would choose the venue that was easiest for them to get to when doing top-up shopping. Given the choice of where to go for top-ups, 40% said they would to go to a supermarket, which has the added convenience of free parking, while 35% choose a local convenience store.
Another 11% said they would use a high street store because they are easy to reach on the way to or from work. Men (41%) are more likely than women (32%) to use convenience stores to top-up, while those with very young children tend to rely more on supermarkets (48%). However, the shoppers that IGD spoke to considered that convenience was not just about how close the store was to them but also how easy the products were to find within the store.
Merchandising is key
"We are seeing a surge in the trend of top-up shopping and it is not just down to time pressure. Families are eating different foods at different times and there is an increased trend toward snacking," explained IGD's chief executive, Joanne Denney-Finch.
"This is creating a great opportunity for retailers of all formats, not just convenience operators. Shoppers want convenience but they want to able to park and have a wide range of products, as well as being able to find the product they need in the least amount of time and effort," said Denney-Finch. "Hypermarkets, supermarkets and discounters all have the ability to entice such shoppers, and merchandising and product placement will be critical in the battle for top-up shopping share."