IGA shoppers most loyal

More than three-quarters of the nation’s grocery shoppers visit at least two different supermarkets in an average four weeks and IGA customers are least likely to shop around, a Roy Morgan Research study indicates.

Of the four major supermarkets – Woolworths/Safeway, Coles, IGA and ALDI – IGA has the most loyal customers. In any given four-week period, 30 per cent of people interviewed who mainly shop at IGA only shop at IGA.

Grocery-buyers who mainly shop at Woolworths/Safeway are the second-most likely (25 per cent) to stick with their number one, marginally ahead of Coles shoppers (24 per cent).

Despite its increasing overall market share, ALDI has a much lower proportion (seven per cent) of exclusive shoppers.

When asked how many major supermarkets they shopped at over the past four weeks, 37 per cent of Aussie grocery-buyer respondents reported shopping at two, 28 per cent said three and seven per cent said they shopped at all four. This pattern is relatively consistent among Woolworths/Safeway shoppers, Coles shoppers and IGA shoppers, for whom visiting two supermarkets is the most common scenario.

When it comes to ALDI, however, 47 per cent of its shoppers interviewed visit three supermarkets in an average four-week period. Furthermore, people who say they mainly shop at ALDI are actually more likely to visit all four major supermarkets in that time than shop at ALDI alone.

Roy Morgan Research General Manager – Consumer Products Andrew Price says Australia’s supermarket scene is incredibly competitive and these latest findings throw another challenge into the mix.

“While most grocery buyers have a supermarket they mainly shop at, a relatively low proportion of them shop exclusively at that supermarket, he said. “They don’t seem to have any great sense of loyalty to their main chain.

“Woolworths/Safeway and Coles customers are quite similar in their shopping habits: they’re more likely to shop at two – or even three – of the main chains in an average four weeks than return to their primary supermarket every time. People who mainly shop at IGA are also more likely to visit two supermarkets in any given four weeks, but less likely to visit three.

“These results suggest that customer loyalty programs such as FlyBuys (held by more than half of Coles shoppers) and Everyday Rewards (held by more than 60 per cent of Woolworths/Safeway customers) are not achieving the desired result.

“Meanwhile, the fact that so few ALDI customers shop exclusively at ALDI is not so surprising: while the German chain offers low prices and a popular home-brand range, it doesn’t have such a huge variety of products as the other major supermarkets. As a result, it’s almost inevitable that ALDI shoppers will need to visit other chains during the month to complete their grocery shop.”

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