Christmas Holiday Report – Part 2: Christmas Shopping The Australian Way

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As Christmas fast approaches, Field Agent set out to further understand how Aussie’s tackle their Christmas shopping. We present you with Part 2 of our Christmas Holiday Report, offering 9 pivotal insights into the attitudes and behaviours of 500 Australian Christmas shoppers with children in their households.

1. Which of the following are particularly important to you as you shop for and buy Christmas gifts?

When asked what are the most important factors to consider when Christmas shopping, it seems we are a budget savvy-bunch. Women are more likely to state that affordability /low cost is more important than males (82% vs 74% respectively). Women are also more likely to give ‘sentimentality’ as an important reason to buy Christmas gifts (46% female vs 36% male).

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2. When purchasing Christmas gifts this year, which 3 retailers will receive most of your business?

When purchasing Christmas gifts, it appears that the large discount department stores are likely to get most of the shoppers spend. Women are likely to shop at Kmart and Target compared to men. Aussie men are more likely to spend their Christmas budget at JB Hi-Fi, Toys R Us, Bunnings and Rebel Sport.

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3. Compared to last year, do you expect to spend more or less on gifts, decorations, toys, electronics and groceries?

Despite the uncertainty in the economy, Australian’s are still happy to spend up at Christmas time with over half of shoppers saying that they intend to spend a little more or a lot more than in 2015. Gifts in general are on the increase with 60% of people saying they will spend more. Other items including groceries (50%), toys (45%), electronics (43%) and decorations (35%) are all forecasted as a higher expenditure than in 2015.

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4. How likely are you to shop online for gifts this Christmas season?

The convenience of online shopping is stronger than ever, with nearly two thirds of shoppers citing they are ‘extremely/very likely’ to buy gifts online this Christmas. Men (64%) are more likely than women (50%) stating they are ‘extremely/very likely’ to purchase Christmas gifts online. Only 1% responded that they are ‘not at all likely’ to shop online this Christmas. The popularity of ‘web-rooming’ (when consumers research products online, then come into a physical store to buy them) and ‘show-rooming’ (the practice of examining merchandise in a traditional brick and mortar retail store or other offline setting, and then buying it online, sometimes at a lower price) is on the increase. With this in mind, it’s even more important for retailers to offer an omni-channel shopping experience to ensure they capitalise on all forms of shopping.

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5. Looking ahead, which of the following gifts are your children likely to receive for Christmas this year?

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6. How much do you expect to spend PER CHILD (in dollars) on Christmas gifts THIS holiday season?

The average spend per child for Christmas is expected to be about $290; with approximately a third of shoppers saying that they plan to spend between $201 – $500 per child.

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7. How much approximately do you expect to spend on your spouse/partner (in dollars) for Christmas gifts this season?

The average spend on a spouse/partner is $268. Men are likely to spend $100 more on their female spouse than women are on their male spouse. Perhaps this due to the ritual of men traditionally leaving their Christmas shopping to the last minute and not taking the time to shop around for the best deal (or maybe they are happy to splurge on their female spouse and indulge their expensive requests!).

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8. When shopping for groceries to enhance your Christmas celebrations, how much influence do in-store product displays have over your purchase decisions?

With a massive 77% of shoppers stating that they are either ‘moderately influenced, very influenced or extremely influenced’ on grocery displays at Christmas time, it shows the importance of having a strong merchandising strategy. An important ingredient in retail display execution is measuring compliance. Are your products ticketed as they should be? Are they fully stocked? Field Agent truly are your eyes and ears in peak promotional periods to ensure you’re capitalising on the strong retail trade. Less than 1 in 10 feel that in-store product displays will be extremely influential in their product decision.

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9. How likely are you to purchase at least one Christmas gift for your PET this Christmas?

Pets play such an important role in Australian families, that it only seems appropriate that they too, receive a special something to mark the season of giving.

Of those shoppers that own a pet, a whopping 75% will purchase at least one gift for their pet at Christmas. Only 1 in 10 shoppers said that they were not at all likely to purchase a gift for their pet.
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We encourage you to share this report with your team and your colleagues. As always, if you have any questions or want to talk further about how Field Agent can help you better understand your business, drop us us an email.

Did you download our Big Honking Tree Topping Guide to Christmas Shoppers 2016? It’s not too late.

Make it a Christmas season to remember and download the report now. 

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10 Reasons Your In-Store Displays Aren’t Converting Shoppers

An in-store display may seem like a pretty predictable thing: it’s set up; it’s stocked; and, voila, shoppers pick up your product. Simple, right?

But the typical retail operation is a swirling vortex of labour issues, managerial pressures, logistical complexities, seasonal obligations, dynamic pricing structures, information overloads/shortages, and an assortment of other factors that make display compliance much less certain.

Indeed, according to Retailing Today’s annual survey of the supplier community, “ensuring merchandise initiatives are executed at the store level” is the top challenge FMCG companies face with retail partners.

It can be difficult to determine the exact reasons your displays aren’t being properly executed in stores. Display non-compliance often results from a complex combination of personnel, managerial, logistical, and informational factors.

Consider 10 practical reasons your in-store displays may not be selling more effectively:

  1. Your point-of-sale materials never arrived at the store

Some displays are doomed from the start, because that fixture, rack, clip strip, sign, or other merchandising material never arrived at the store. It didn’t even get its foot in the door.

Perhaps the display materials never left your company (you know how organisational communication is), or maybe a simple shipping error prevented them from arriving in-store?

  1. Your POS display materials arrived but the product didn’t

Naturally your POS materials need products to showcase. But display effectiveness is partly dependent on supply chain efficiency—getting the right product to the right place at the right time in the right amounts.

What if, for example, the retailer’s inventory/execution management system reduces or cancels your shipment due to apparent high inventory levels? What if the store “turned off” all non-everyday product shipments?

  1. Your display never made it to the store floor (it’s in the backroom)

In the merchandising game, it’s helpful to understand the tension between corporate execution plans and store-level realities. Local managers, contending with everything from surplus inventory to finicky local shoppers, may stray from corporate plans—including those delineating the details of your shopper marketing campaigns.

Your display, frankly, may be a low managerial priority at the store-level. Local management may want to push high inventory out the door, or they may be convinced another display will result in more sales.

  1. Your display is ‘lost’ in the store

It could be lost physically. By way of illustration, high inventory in or poor management of the backroom may block your display materials or product from employees’ view.

  1. Your display is a casualty of inaccurate information

Your display could be virtually lost. The retailer’s inventory management system, for one reason or another (e.g., human error), reflects that your display is in store and on the floor.

But the reality is: your display is MIA.

  1. Your display is on the floor but in the wrong place

But even if your display makes it to the store floor, who’s to say it’s in the correct place? Many possibilities exist for why a display might end up in the wrong part of the store:

  • Human error
  • Space is at a premium and store personnel position displays wherever they can find space
  • Local managers may feel other displays will sell better, and, thus, demote your display to a less visible corner of the store
  • Stores may be eager to unload high or seasonal inventory, even if it means deviating from corporate plans.

  1. Your display is on the floor but stocked with the wrong product

Perish the thought, right? But it happens.

Maybe the display is stocked with the wrong version of your product? Or, worse – it’s almost hard to write – your display is stocked with competing and substitutable merchandise.

  1. Your display is on the floor but paired with the wrong signage, video, or other aids

The display is largely there but the expensive bells and whistles are missing, leaving you and others wondering why sales are disappointing.

Yes, your product is positioned well and is fully stocked but the digital TV display is missing or playing the wrong ad.

Yes, your four-way display is on the main aisle, but the visually alluring signage is collecting dust in the backroom.

  1. Your display execution is a casualty of budget constraints

Often companies will fork out the funds for in-store displays and other POP materials, yet they don’t, won’t, or can’t budget for their effective execution.

  1. Your display execution lacks visibility

You can’t fix what you can’t see.

Consequently, the remedy for many of the problems above is pretty simple: greater in-store visibility.

Thanks to advancements in mobile technology and crowdsourcing, companies can now be with their displays wherever they are—and quickly spot problems with display compliance.

Mobile Audits offer a fast, affordable, and far-reaching way to take control of your display execution.

Do Shoppers Really Look At The Unit Price?

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They’re one of the more modest members of the entire retail scene:

Unit price labels.

You know, the small, easily overlooked “cost per kilo,” “cost per gram,” cost per…whatever…designations printed on shelf tags.

Supermarkets and online retailers must comply with the Unit Pricing Code if they sell certain food-based grocery items. Unit pricing enables consumers to quickly compare products of different sizes and brands in order to work out which one offers the best value.

The real question is: Do shoppers look at unit prices?

As a company specialising in mobile audits and research, including in-store price checks, we recently conducted a study of Australian shoppers to determine the answer to this question.

In all, 73% of shoppers in our survey have referred to unit prices when making shopping decisions.

Additionally, we presented shoppers with 17 different product categories, from laundry detergent to frozen food, and asked: “For which of these…do you regularly look at the unit price information on the product’s price tag?”

As the results below suggest, many shoppers say they regularly examine unit prices on items like laundry detergent (64%), dish detergent (56%), beverages (56%), and household cleaners (53%).

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It appears unit prices, as understated as they are, play an important role in the shopping habits of many.

Is The Price Right?

Wondering whether shoppers are seeing the right prices on your products? Incorrect prices—whether too high or low—can damage your brand’s image and drag down sales.

Mobile Audits take you inside stores anywhere, anytime to verify pricing information.

 

Want to see stats like this_FOOTER

Selling to Football Fans: How Brands Win With 3 Game-Changing Plays

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With AFL and NRL Finals season days away, Field Agent is opening up its playbook. This article describes and illustrates 3 ‘game-changing plays’ for better serving football fans. Mobile audits and research allow companies to be where the action is happening, as it’s happening, throughout football season. So let us demonstrate the ways we help companies better serve customers and outperform competitors…when the game’s on the line.      

We take football seriously here at Field Agent. Very seriously.

It’s that time of year when our office starts buzzing with conversations—and even a little trash-talking—about our favorite teams, you know, how “this is the year we win the Premiership.”

But there’s another reason we take football seriously. Starting in August, many clients rely on us to win their own football competitions: the battle for football fans and the dollars they spend on merchandise to enhance their football-viewing experiences.

For nearly four years we’ve been equipping brands, retailers, and agencies with the information and insights to better serve their customers, refine their in-store executions, and outperform their competitors.

We do this especially during critical shopping events such as Finals season, when fans throughout the country flock to stores to purchase supplies for game-viewing parties, backyard barbecues, and of course, attending the big game itself.

We want to share a glimpse inside our company playbook, and briefly describe 3 ways Field Agent helps companies win during football season.


Play #1. Mobile Audits take you inside stores throughout the football season, so you can be closer to your products and in-store promotions.

Have our retail partners properly executed our football-themed in-store displays and signage? Are our products actually on store shelves as shoppers stroll by, or are they out-of-stock and unavailable to purchase-minded football fans? Do our products reflect the correct promotional prices to entice the spending of football fans?

Companies often bring such questions to us, particularly during critical shopping seasons. Geography separates brands from the retailers that sell their products, resulting in limited vision inside stores. But Mobile Audits provide vendors a fast, affordable means for monitoring their products and promotions at-retail.

To illustrate, this weekend we sent 30 auditors—we call them agents—to 30 different stores across the country. We asked them to take pictures of football-themed products and in-store displays:

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Companies use such images, which we verify through a multi-step quality control process, to monitor display placement, product availability, product pricing, and so on.

And because our agents are also retail customers, your customers, a mobile audit is also an ideal opportunity to gather consumer insights—quickly and affordably.

Companies also use these audits to collect qualitative insights from shoppers. As one agent commented, “I like the theme [of the display]. I’m a huge football fan! It definitely appeals to me to grab some Pringles to snack on during the game.”

This football season, mobile audits are your eyes and ears inside stores.


Play #2. Mobile Research allows you to be where the action is happening, as it’s happening. From man caves to backyard barbeques, companies can “be there” throughout football season.

Through the powerful combination of mobile technology and crowdsourcing, Mobile Research allows companies to be on-location with football fans—wherever they may be. In living rooms or stadium seats, we put companies directly among consumers, as they’re using specific brands and products.

During Football Final season last year, our sister company Field Agent USA visited the homes of 250 fans. We asked a variety of questions about their game day behaviours—as they were happening, and not, as with traditional research, days, months, or years after they had happened.

For instance, we asked agents to identify what activities they were participating in during the game. At 24%, “grilling food” topped the list, followed by “mixing alcoholic beverages” (18%) and “eating takeaway food.’” (12%).

We also asked agents to take pictures of their game day food spreads:

Food Spread

And because mobile research utilises smartphone technology, agents can also shoot video as well as still images.

Throughout football season, mobile research is a nimble and powerful means of collecting in-the-moment consumer insights—anywhere, anytime.


Play #3. During the biggest games of the year, whether it’s the AFL or NRL Grand Final, Mobile Research captures real-time information to help companies make better decisions and monitor performance.

Last year hundreds of companies looked on as Field Agent USA, conducted its thrilling Game Day Brand Wars campaign. We tracked, in real-time, what beer, soft drinks and chip brands fans were consuming during the Super Bowl.

Our ultimate goal was to determine which brands took home Most Valuable Player awards for best Super Bowl performance, and companies watched in anticipation as live results streamed onto our website.

Bud Light (13%), Coca-Cola (26%), and Tostitos (21%) won their respective categories. More than 500 agents ultimately participated in our inaugural Brand Wars.

Our Brand Wars campaign illustrates how mobile research may be used to collect real-time, up-to-the-minute information and insights during the biggest games of the football season.

Want to know what football fans think about your new commercial, the one airing during Friday Night Football? Mobile research can tell you. In real-time.

Interested to know how your brands and products are performing at backyard barbeques across the country? Mobile research can show you that as well.

If you need results as events are happening, mobile research can track the consumer attitudes and behaviors that matter most to your business.


Get in the Game  

Whatever your ‘need to know,’ mobile audits and research provide a direct link to your products, wherever they are, and your customers, wherever they are. And because Field Agent offers solutions in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional methods, this football season companies can get in the game—and win it—more easily than ever.

How Brands Win V2

Supermarket – Case Study

  

Supermarket Benchmark Survey

We recently asked a group of shoppers from our 15,000 Field Agents* around Australia to visit one of five supermarket brands on new year’s eve (2012) to demonstrate how our Field Agent iPhone App can assist businesses check merchandise compliance, stock levels, price and more within their stores and the broader industry. Each person who accepted a supermarket assignment in this case study exercise was asked to do so only if they were the ‘main household supermarket shopper’ and doing a ‘supermarket visit’ at any time during the day on New Year’s Eve, 31st December, 2011. While doing this supermarket shop they were asked to answer and do the following:

1.  Take a photo of the 2 litre Original Coca Cola bottles in the soft drink isle.
2.  What is the price of the 2 litre Original Coca Cola?
3.  Take a photo of all products in your trolley or basket before checkout.
4.  How long did it take to be served when you joined the queue at the checkout?
5.  Was the staff member who served you neat, tidy and presentable?
6.  Rate the friendliness of the staff member who served you at the checkout.
7.  Rate your overall satisfaction of your shopping experience today.
8.  Which option best describes your soft drink purchasing habits?
9.  Were there any items you intended to purchase that were not available today?
10.If so, what items were you unable to purchase today?

* registered shoppers with the iPhone App ‘Field Agent’ on their iPhone.

How did these brands compare against each other?

Sample Photos of Products in Trolley/Basket

(a)  ALDI
ALDI – Qld, Burpengary, 31 Dec 2011, 4.22pm
ALDI – Qld, Chermside, 31 Dec 2011, 12.16pm
ALDI – Vic, Preston, 31 Dec 2011, 11.34am

    

(b)  Foodworks
Foodworks – Vic, Narreewarren, 31 Dec 2011, 2.20pm
Foodworks – Vic, Sunbury, 31 Dec 2011, 6.59pm

  

(c)  IGA
IGA – Qld, Chermside, 31 Dec 2011, 12.35pm
IGA – Vic, Murrumbeena, 31 Dec 2011, 7.55pm
IGA – WA, Lynwood, 31 Dec 2011, 3.15pm
IGA – WA, Mt Lowley, 31 Dec 2011, 12.08pm

      

(d)  Coles
Coles – Qld, Chermside, 31 Dec 2011, 11.47am
Coles – WA, Erskine, 31 Dec 2011, 2.20pm
Coles – NSW, Sydney, 31 Dec 2011, 11.44am
Coles – NT, Palmerston, 31 Dec 2011, 12.19pm
Coles – Vic, Wheelers Hill, 31 Dec 2011, 7.53pm

        

(e)  Woolworths
Woolworths – Vic, Baxter, 31 Dec 2011, 1.07pm
Woolworths – Qld, Chermside, 31 Dec 2011, 11.29am
Woolworths – Vic, Mulgrave, 31 Dec 2011, 6.32pm
Woolworths – NT, Palmerston, 31 Dec 2011, 1.38pm

      

Supermarket Industry Benchmark Data

45% of customers waited more than 1 but less than 2 minutes to be served whilst waiting in a checkout queue.

34% of staff at check out were rated as ‘extremely friendly’

18% of shoppers found there were items unavailable they had intended to purchase.

52% of customers rated the overall shopping experience as ‘great’.

Sample Product Photos


Coles, Doncaster, VIC 3.24pm,, Dec 31st 2011.


Woolworths, Chermside, Qld 11.28am, Dec 31st 2011.


IGA, Castlemaine, Vic 5.40pm, Dec 31st, 2011.


Foodworks, Naree Warren South, Vic, 3.20pm, Dec 31st 2011.