Store Brands: Insights on Private Label Brands

From cheap versions of products that were perceived to be poor quality and embarrassing to be seen with, to award winning products with serious creds, private label brands have come a long way in the past 5-10 years. But just how far have they come in the hearts and minds of the Australian shopper?
Field Agent asked 500 shoppers how their attitudes to private label brands have changed over the past 5-10 years. A resounding 51% said that they liked private label brands more than they used to, with a further 31% reporting that they have always liked them.
So where and when does that translate to shoppers picking up a private label over a brand name and vice versa? Let’s delve deeper into the current state of play from the mouths of everyday Australians and find out what the opportunities are for brands.

Private label is making serious inroads in the shopping trolley
We asked shoppers to estimate how much of their average grocery shop consisted of private label brands, and over a third estimated up to 25%, with another third estimating between 26% and 50% to be private label brands.
Whilst this may sound disheartening for brands, the ‘glass is half full’ way to read this, is that there’s still more than half a trolley to nab in almost 70% of trolleys and baskets!
Interestingly, almost 4 in 5 shoppers (86%) stated that they would continue to purchase the same amount of private label brands even if their household income increased.


What’s driving private label purchases?
Shoppers want their hard-earned dollars to go as far as possible with the savings offered by private label brands, without compromising on quality, most important.
Out of stocks can be disastrous for brands, who risk a shopper picking up a private label instead and deciding that the quality is comparable or at least justifies the savings, potentially losing a customer for life.

From zero to hero
Only 28% of shoppers still consider private label products to generally be inferior to branded products. A whopping 72% of shoppers now consider private label products to be of comparable quality or even better than their branded counterparts.
Certainly the quality and design of packaging has improved, and the expansion into premium brand extensions goes a long way to improve quality perceptions of private label products overall. Just take a look at the example below. A humble tin of peeled tomatoes, presented differently by lower tier private label (Franklins, Black & Gold, Coles Smart Buy, Woolworths Essentials), a more upmarket version of a private label (ALDI’s Remano, Coles, Woolworths Select), and finally, known FMCG brands (Ardmona, Val Verde).
Isn’t marketing a magnificent beast? ALDI’s positioning of their brands as ‘ALDI exclusives’ even has some shoppers believing that they are not actually buying private label products.
Woolworths is capitalising on this trend in a number of key value categories where shoppers traditionally shirk private label. Since July 2016, Woolworths shoppers with keen eyes will have noticed some brands, like the Balnea range of bodycare products, are “Specifically developed and produced for Woolworths”.
It can’t all be marketing, though. Recently a $6.99 bottle of Shiraz from ALDI made headlines after winning a double gold medal at the 2017 Melbourne International Wine Competition, and a Woolworths Half Leg of Ham took out the title of Best Nationally available Ham at the 2017 PorkMark Awards.

Winning categories for private label products

Grocery staples top the list of products that shoppers are most likely to reach for a private label. Dollar a litre milk has not been without controversy but it appears that the movement for supporting Farmers through boycotting private label milks has been short-lived.

So where do branded products win?
Australian shoppers are reluctant to compromise on little luxuries like cosmetics, hair care and their morning cuppa. A special mention goes to the pet products category in 6th position with 42% never or rarely purchasing private label for their fur-babies versus 32% for their human babies – talk about pampered pets!

Shoppers are happy to trade-up to a brand name if the price variation is deemed to be insignificant, or if the product delivers on superior quality and wider ranges.

With the improved perception of private label brands being synonymous with quality and better value, now more than ever it’s important for brands to understand and listen to their shoppers and know what drives their decision making. Eroding margins and endless promotional cycles are not sustainable. What gives your brand the edge on private label products in your category? Is your planned innovation likely to hit the mark? Find out with Field Agent.

An Australian Christmas

Aussie’s were predicted to spend a fortune on our festive feasts this season — so what was actually served up on the table on Christmas Day?

According to the Australian Retailers Association, $20 billion was expected for grocery items this Christmas and supermarket sales were expected to beat last year’s figures by 3.27%, with foot traffic increasing 7.5% week-on-week across physical grocery stores.

More than 900,000 punnets of cherries, 2 million kilos of fresh Australian prawns, over 80,000kg of turkeys, six million fruit mince pies, half a million pavlovas and more than 1.7 million mangoes are also expected to be sold at Woolworths stores before Christmas Day. And that’s just one retailer!

We could go on and on with the stats, but we decided to put our nose to the ground (or to the dining tables…) and find out where they shopped and what was on the menu at Australian Christmas celebrations directly from the source, our Agents.

Take a look.

And here’s what Christmas lunch and dinner REALLY looked like…


Need additional insights to make sense of the holiday shopping season? Get in touch with our team today.


 

All Things TOYS!

Christmas and sale season is just around the corner. Kids make their lists. Parents make their purchases. And companies (hopefully) make their forecasts.

Toys may be fun, but they are serious business. With toys driving so much of the overall festive spending bonanza, Field Agent recently ran a study to uncover parents’ and kids’ attitudes and behaviours toward toy shopping. With insights gathered from 300 Australian families and a total of 424 children under 12 years old, we’ve prepared for you a peek into the top retailers of choice for toy purchases, the favourite toy franchises amongst boys and girls, and the role of digital shopping.

What really matters to parents as they shop for and buy toys for the kiddos?

The three top priorities for parents are: (a) quality/durability/longevity, (b) price and (c) educational/developmental value. Least importance was placed upon gender specific gifts.
Naturally, where there are parental priorities, there are bound to be parental frustrations, as one or more factors might impede mum and dad’s toy-buying objectives.

When it comes to toy-shopping, parents said they’re especially frustrated with out-of-stocks (63%), prices (54%) and selecting toys their children will actually play with/like (41%). Taking the kids along to do the toy shopping (35%) is also a common source of irritation!

Which retailers have captured the affection of toy shoppers?
And do parents and kids differ about the best places to shop for and buy toys?

Kmart (40%) took top place in Field Agent’s survey of parents, followed by Big W (23%), Target (15%), and Toys-R-Us (11%).
But would kids see eye-to-eye with their parents? As it turns out, yes.
Children showed an equally strong preference for Kmart (33%) with Toys R Us (22%) following behind as the second most popular toy shopping destination for kids.

 Toy Shopping in an Omni Channel World

News feeds are buzzing these days with omnichannel developments—everything from online spending to in-store pickup, app-based shopping to same day, in-town delivery.
How has the omnichannel impacted toy shopping?
According to survey results, only 15% of parents say they ‘often’ purchase toys online and 52% ‘sometimes’ purchase toys online. When asked how often they purchase toys for their kids online, only 5% responded ‘never’.
eBay wins the race on preferred choice of online retailer for toy shopping (21%) with Target a close second (17%).

Batteries Included?

Something has to make all those remote-control cars, back-flipping puppy dogs, and handheld video games do their thing. Battery juggernauts Energiser (38%) and Duracell (28%) and were on the top of the heap as the brands parents prefer, with private label/store brand batteries (20%) a near third place.

Parents were also asked to describe the ideal “batteries included” scenario when buying new toys.
Do they prefer to pay a little more for name brand batteries to be included, or would they prefer lower grade batteries (or no batteries at all) with a lower price tag?
Convincingly, 47% said they’d prefer high grade, name brand batteries, even if it means paying a bit more.

It’s all about the kids

Unsurprisingly, when it comes to buying toys, parents think MOST about the desires and wishes of their child, with price and promotion, a secondary influence.

The kids have their say…

Field Agent set out to determine what toys, specifically, 5-12-year olds, have their sights set on for the upcoming festive season and beyond. We asked kids:
“What one toy do you want most for Christmas this year?”
Regardless of gender, it was a big win for LEGO, which received the most mentions across all kids. Sports equipment, gaming consoles and tech devices (Fit Bits, drones etc) also cleaned up.
  1. LEGO
  2. Sport Equipment
  3. Gaming Console
  4. Tech Devices (Eg, Fit Bit, drones etc)
  5. Apple products (Eg, iPad, iPod touch)
  6. General toys (Action figurines, board games, dolls, etc)
  7. Remote Control Cars
  8. Shopkins
  9. Hatchimals
  10. Barbie

An almost equal weighting was placed upon You Tube, friends and TV Advertising as the major influences to what toys the kids want.

Best and worst of gift giving and receiving?

When asking kids what they like and dislike, the results are honest and brutally truthful.
LEGO (27%) is the long reining gift hero of the best gifts to receive. Amongst the worst? Clothing and footwear (sorry Grandma) (36%).
Interestingly, an equal number of kids (25%) responded that gaming consoles are both the best and the worst gifts.

 

What could toy manufacturers and retailers do better?

Field Agent gave over 500 parents an open forum to articulate their suggestions for toy companies and retailers. The quotes below are representative of the more prominent themes arising from parents’ remarks.


For many companies, the entire year rises and falls on this crucial pre-Christmas retail season. How is your brand performing? Field Agent provides crowdsourcing via smartphones to equip brands, retailers, and agencies with location-specific in-store information and/or  ‘in the moment’ shopper and consumer insights.

The bottom line is the bottom line.

Mobile Audits and Research from Field Agent offer a fast, affordable way to better understand and increase retail sales throughout the festive season.

 

 

Supermarket-ing Wars: Christmas 2017


Aussie Supermarket giants Woolworths, Coles and ALDI have all released their Christmas 2017 television campaigns.

All three retailers have worked with some super talented creative teams, so collectively they are already nothing short of wow-factor.

We took it to Australian shoppers to find out which ad really strikes a chord and makes them want to shop with a particular retailer this Christmas time.

We asked 1000 Field Agents their opinion on which ad they prefer.

If you haven’t yet seen the ads, take a look at what our Agents were presented with:

Woolworths – Share The Spirit of Christmas. Woolworths’ TVC celebrates the realities of the preparation and enjoyment of an Australian Christmas in the ‘Share the Spirit of Christmas’ campaign, by M&C Saatchi.
ALDI – The More The Merrier. Arguably the most original of the lot, telling the story of Doug, whose legendary knock in a game of backyard cricket lasts 40 Christmases, before he finally goes out to eat an ALDI Christmas lunch.
Coles: What We Love About Christmas. Coles’ TVC features a wide variety of Australians sharing what they love about Christmas, in a campaign developed by Big Red. Coles ambassador Curtis Stone shows up briefly at the commercial’s end.

 

The Real Housewives of Australia

Fact: Women are still the primary carers in Australia. While men and women averaged the same hours for paid and unpaid work overall, men spent twice as long as women in employment related activities and women spent twice as long as men in unpaid work (particularly domestic activities and child care).* Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Sept 2017.
Though she works inside the home, the stay-at-home mother is an economic force in her own right. A recent Field Agent mobile survey found 97% of modern housewives are their family’s primary grocery shopper and 95% their family’s primary home-essentials shopper.
Understanding stay-at-home mums gives you insight into the most significant demographic of retail spending.
This month, Field Agent surveyed 500 stay-at-home Australian mums to explore their shopping habits and retailer preferences. All survey participants are women with children presently living at-home. Furthermore, 86% of the those surveyed have children aged 6 and under. 63% are currently married and 14% are in a defacto relationship.

The Graphic Story: Modern Homemakers

1. Building out a job description

Field Agent asked stay-at-home mums what household duties are their sole or primary responsibility, that they do more of than any member of the family.

2. Grocery and Cleaning: The Key Categories

With Grocery and Household Essentials shopping accounting for the majority of primary duties of the modern homemaker, it made sense to dig deeper on the habits and preferences of these two categories.
69% of Australian families spend between $400-$800 every month on their grocery shopping.
The battle between the two major supermarkets, Coles & Woolworths, is evident with 45% choosing Woolworths and 43% choosing Coles. ALDI is yet to take a large slice of market share.
Of the 55% who said they would purchase a new product if it were on sale, just over half mentioned they would tell someone else about that product.

More shoppers (45%) are purchasing grocery product private label brands ‘often’ compared with 27% in the cleaning category.

3. Baby and Pet Supplies

Human and “fur” babies alike are high up on the priority shopping list for the modern Australian homemaker.
At a time when the broader retail market is struggling with lacklustre growth and a slowdown in consumer spending is pinching profits, the baby and infant industry has been enjoying a boom.
For the past few years baby care has consistently outperformed the wider retail market, and while experts argue about the exact value of this sector, it is estimated to be worth more than $8 billion in Australia alone.

Not to be undermined, the Australian pet-care sector superseeds the marketshare of the baby care sector. Australians are spending $12 billion a year on food, grooming, vets and insurance for their animals, making the pet care industry one of the major growth hot spots of the country’s business sector.
There are an estimated eight million pet owners, primarily of cats and dogs, which means Australia has one of the highest domestic animal ownership rates in the world. And the Aussie homemakers are the people making the majority of the retail decisions regarding pet care products.

 

4. New Products

Word of mouth is strong even in the grocery game. 57% of people who have purchased and tried a new grocery item  have told someone about it, compared to just 23% who don’t mention it to anyone.
Here is what some of our Agents had to say about new grocery items they have tried recently:

5. Garden and Auto Supplies

With homemakers bearing less responsibility for garden and automotive supplies compared to other categories, it’s not surprising that the frequency of purchase from these is much lower.

 

The Most Powerful Packaging Claims in 8 Product Categories

On average, more than half of shoppers (51%) say package label claims are either extremely or very important to their product purchases.

Nearly 4 in 10 shoppers say they would switch to a new brand from a current preferred brand in favour of increased product transparency. In fact, 73% of them would be willing to pay more for a product that offers complete transparency, according to a recent survey by Label Insight. The demand for transparency is clear, yet two of the most challenging categories in which to find information are those in which we come in contact the most – packaged food and personal care products.
Shopper demand for transparency has prompted the need for brands to create a standardised method for sharing product information in a convenient, easy-to-understand manner. New technologies such as Smart Label in the US are taking the influence of packaging claims very seriously.
This new tech offers a smartphone scan-at-shelf function which then reveals just about everything there is to know about the product such as allergy information, corporate ethics and sustainability programs, in addition to detailed nutritional and ingredient information. The Smart Label initiative is growing exponentially with a projected 34,000 products to be participating by the end of 2017.
With more and more people caring about the finer details about the food and products they purchase for their households, packaging labels can make an enormous impact on the shopper.
But which product claims, specifically, have most sway over shoppers and their spending?

The Most Powerful Package Label Claims

Field Agent Australia surveyed 500 Australians on its all-mobile panel to identify the most influential label claims across eight product categories: packaged foodsnon-alcoholic beverageshair care products, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, pet food, dairy products, home cleaning products & cosmetics.
Each of these categories are renowned for making bold product claims in their packaging. So, what on-package claims really engage shoppers and influence which product they pick up from the shelf.
The infographic below details the top five label claims across eight key categories:

 

Thus, depending on the product, the “magic words” may well be Made in Australia (packaged foods, non-alcoholic beverages), Real Fruit Juice (non-alcoholic beverages), Quick Relief (OTC medication), Moisturising (hair care), Real Meat (pet food), Kills Bacteria (home cleaning products), Full Cream (dairy products) and Sensitive Skin (cosmetics), or a variation of these words.
For many shoppers, such claims do have power over purchase decisions. In fact, when asked, 37% of said it had a direct impact in their final purchase decisions, some examples of this include:
“Free range eggs. I purchased this product as I believe the hens are allowed to roam and aren’t restricted and no chemicals are used when I purchase this product.” Female, 50, VIC
“Real fruit juice was the product and the claim was that the juice was made of “just 20 apples” Male, 19, NSW
“Panadol Rapid – I purchased this product because it claims that it is fast acting on pain relief.” Female, 35, VIC
“Low carb wraps and bread as I only eat those items if they are lower in carbs. Also ‘Fast Acting’ basic pain relief medication.”  Male, 22. ACT
“I was buying body lotion and chose one due to the scent, but the label claims of all natural product on the other bottle swayed my purchasing decision.” Female, 28, QLD
However claims can have the opposite effect if not meeting the expectations of the shopper. 27% of those surveyed told us how packaging claims actually discouraged their purchase decision.
“Low fat, low sugar, all those things just make me think there’s more bad stuff in there to compensate. I’d rather eat fat and sugar than eat something unidentifiable. Also more cautious around ‘RSPCA Approved’ now and the labelling on eggs and meat – I eat organic where possible to make sure as best I can.” Female, 28, NSW
“Pain relief medication claimed to target a specific area of the body, which I knew was untrue.” Male, 29, WA
“Pineapple in a can. Turns out it was from Thailand not Australia.” Male, 29, VIC
“I decided not to buy Cadbury chocolate because the packaging claimed the product was Halal. I even rang the customer service phone number and no one could tell me what ingredients required Halal certification.” Female, 52, VIC
Asked to rank the product categories by the relative power of their label claims, shoppers rated the claims of pet food products, packaged foods, home-cleaning products and OTC medications as comparatively more influential over their spending than those found on hair care products, dairy products, cosmetics, and non-alcoholic beverages.
There is still a big opportunity to influence a shopper with packaging claims at the point of purchase to try your product. Let Field Agent help you decide what should go on your next packaging design to get maximum cut through at the shelf.

Healthy Living Report 2017 [Part 2]

We present you with Part 2 of our Healthy Living Report where we uncover further insights into the retail of physical wellness, with responses from 500 Australians regarding their health & fitness plans for 2017.


Vitamin, Mineral & Supplement Purchases

Men and women appear to have similar approaches to taking multivitamins for general health and wellness. However, we start to see some gender differences in the choices of other supplemental products. Men tend to be more inclined to purchase supplements that support muscle building and condition, while women are focused on internal health and well-being. One of the biggest variations is with protein powders, with 34% men and only 20% of women citing they will incorporate this product to their regime. In contrast, more women mentioned they would take probiotics, with 29% versus 18% (males). Probiotics are associated with assisting overall gut health which is a very popular health focus for 2017.


Stylishly Active – Insights on Sportswear

Is activewear also passivewear? 56% of women and 45% of men said they only wear fitness apparel specifically for fitness activities 10% of the time!
The rest of the time they are wearing their activewear for comfort, convenience and appearance. This is not surprising with fashion designers blurring the lines between fashion and activewear for some of the global active brands.  When we talk about the term ‘activewear’ we are also referring to wearable tech such as Garmin, FitBit and Leaf Urban. Some of the top reasons why wearable tech is so attractive is to simply know more about their day-to-day activities, to stay on track with health & performance or to hold themselves accountable. Overall, activewear has never looked so good!


Retailers Get Digitally Fit

The modern problem of being time-poor and not wanting to waste time in-stores is remedied by retailers offering quality omni-channel experiences.
Webrooming (researching online and purchase in-store) is gaining in popularity with 48% stating it’s their preferred shopping method, perhaps with many doing their research whilst relaxing after-hours. Online reviews are also very popular, with 45% influenced by an online review in their decision making process.
With such a considerable percentage of consumers doing their research and/or shopping online, it is absolutely essential to ensure a seamless and informative experience across all touchpoints, digital or physical.


Go-To Retailers

Whilst many brands were mentioned as retailers they would visit to purchase health & fitness products, the top three that ranked the highest for both men and women is Kmart, Chemist Warehouse and Rebel Sport. Rebel Sport is seen as the market leader in all things health & fitness related, whilst the accessibility and affordability of Kmart and Chemist Warehouse is what set these retailers apart from the rest.


Lean & Mean Fitness Purchases

2 in 3 women will purchase new activewear/workout clothes to enhance (or encourage) their physical activities in 2017, with the same number of men planning to purchase new footwear specific for their pursuits.
When asked their opinion of the statement, “To get in shape you have to spend money,” 58% agreed, 15% didn’t have an opinion and 38% disagreed that you need to spend money to get in shape.
Whatever your opinion, there is no denying the retail influence of health & fitness-related consumables.


Healthy Living Report 2017 (Part 1)

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The new year. A time when the collective conscious turns its attention to self-improvement and healthier living.

We surveyed 500 Australians over the first several weeks of the new year and found a great many are seeking a course for positive change in the months ahead.
Healthy living goals also have implications for a healthy retail industry. With the new year comes a flurry of self-improvement spending, as shoppers buy everything from footwear to FitBits to fish oil.
The following pages are jam packed with insights into healthy living shoppers. The report, which will be delivered in two parts, encompasses findings from an equal number of men and women.
Time to flex your business muscle in 2017 and come to grips with today’s healthy living shopper.

Body In Focus

So many self-improvement efforts focus on the body; how it looks, how it feels and how it functions. Australians plan to change their lives in 2017 with the human body front and centre. Sleep quality and mental health is also a significant priority amongst many Australian men and women. On many levels, physical health and mental health go hand in hand.
For the most part, women are more likely to have set resolutions around looking and living better and reducing stress. Men, it seems, are more likely to get physical, choosing exercise as their main health focus.

Looking Good in 2017

New clothes, footwear, skincare products and dietary supplements are the main items Australians are planning to purchase to help them look better in 2017. Not surprisingly, women are more likely to purchase skincare products (62% vs 49%), cosmetics (59% vs 15%) and spa/beauty treatments (48% vs 16%) while men are more likely to be purchasing dietary supplements (63% vs 45%), oralcare products (55 vs 44%), body scents (50% vs 38%), gym memberships (45% vs 31%) and exercise equipment (45% vs 25%).


A Shift In Thinking

Concern for healthy living in general has become more important; with 4 in 5 Australians stating that this has some level of importance on their overall purchase decisions.

Healthier Habits

Eating healthier, drinking more water, eating more fruit/vegetables and cooking at home more are the most popular ways people are determined to change their life this year.
Women are more likely to plan to drink more water (76% vs 68%) and snack less (44% vs 39%) to achieve their goals while men are more likely to aim to drink less alcohol (29% vs 23%) to achieve their goals.

Change Your Habits. Change Your Life.

Exercising/working out more along with losing weight/watching weight are the two main ways both women and men are planning to change their life this year. Other priorities are to try and spend less/save more which may in turn help them sleep more/better which is another top goal.
While women generally love to shop, interestingly they are more likely to want to spend less/save more in 2017 (62% vs 46%) compared to men. Women are also planning on making more effort to keep their homes cleaner (50% vs 30%) and also to make more of an effort with their appearance (43% vs 25%).
Men are more likely to plan to change their life by wearing better quality clothes and footwear (32% vs 23%) and playing more sport (28% vs 15%).


Sweat It Out

Over two thirds of Aussie’s state that they intend to exercise or play sport 3-5 times a week with just over a quarter planning 3 times a week. All this sweat will go a long way to achieving the overall health goals for most Australians this year.

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Timing Is Everything

Just over half of Australians typically spend between 30-60 minutes on an exercise session. A further quarter would spend between 15-30 minutes per exercise session. A smaller number are hardcore committing to an hour or more for each work out!

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Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

The most common fitness, exercise and health goals for 2017 are:
  • To feel healthier (79%)
  • To feel better about myself (77%)
  • To lose weight (62%)
Women are more like than men to have these goals. Men it seems have a higher care factor than women ‘to be in better shape for others’ and wanting ‘to be perceived by others more positively.’

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When asked how they felt about reaching their goals and plans for 2017 the sentiment was largely around them being achievable and realistic. Interestingly though, having challenging goals was also a common thread, so it seems people are happy to push themselves a little.
Here’s what some had to say:

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Want to see stats like this_FOOTER

Back To School Shopping [Report]

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As the holiday season winds down, post-Christmas sales are in full swing with research, conducted by Roy Morgan in association with Australian Retailers Association (ARA), predicting that Aussie shoppers will spend $17.2 billion from 26 December to 15 January.

According to the ARA chief Russell Zimmerman, the research is indicative of shopper focus on back to school sales.
Zimmerman says that retailers selling clothing, footwear, stationery and technology will see a big sales boost as back to school draws near and parents stock up on back to school essentials.
Field Agent wanted to understand the back-to-school mindset a little deeper, so we surveyed 400 Australian parents with school aged children on all things ‘Back To School’ (BTS).
Let this research help your brand/s make the grade with Back To School shoppers in 2017.

Back To School Budget Pressure

Our study of 400 households suggests most families are anticipating spending more (44%) or about the same (35%) on back-to-school in 2017. Only 9% will spend less.
The whopping 78% of parents surveyed agreed BTS is a strain on their household budgets.

Stocking up for Back To School

Predictably, uniforms (83%), basic school supplies (82%), and footwear (91%) top the list of general BTS merchandise purchases. However, half (or more) of all households surveyed said they’re planning on making purchases in all nine categories presented, suggesting BTS has important implications for brands across many categories. Some, including athletic equipment, electronic, are more vulnerable to the influence of age (i.e., grade-level) than others.

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Influences on Back To School

Make the list = make the sale

Many households follow a school-furnished list either “very closely” (35%) or “fairly closely” (33%) when shopping for BTS supplies. In all, 93% will follow their school’s list at least a little. Specific brand name mentions have some influence over shoppers’ choices, with 38% calling them moderately influential and 34% calling them “extremely” or “very” influential.

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How Brands Can Make The Grade

Top Shopping Priorities Amongst BTS Mums 

What really matters when shopping inside stores for BTS supplies? 76% made Quality a #1 or #2 priority and Price was also #1 or #2 priority for 76% of shoppers. Factors such as brand name or loyalty ranked the lowest priority at 65% and 66% respectively.

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Kids Call The Shots

Influence of children on BTS purchases

“But MUM!” You can hear the kids’ cries already. To what extent do the users of BTS purchases, the kids, influence the shoppers (mums and dads)? Kids wield considerable influence it seems over clothing/footwear and even the contents of packed lunches.

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Back To School Shopping Destinations

Preferred retailers for BTS Supplies

At 70%, Kmart sits high atop the retail mountain for selling school supplies, with Officeworks (62%) and Big W (52%) not far behind. On the question of who sells the most back-to-school clothing, aside from specialised uniform shops which take the biggest slice of the pie at 71%, 41% are getting their school clothing basics from Kmart and Target is a close second choice (38%). Of course, BTS is a big pie and many retailers enjoy a slice. 62% told us they will visit 2-3 stores to purchase school supplies.

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Role of Online Retailers for BTS Shoppers

Households do shop online for BTS supplies; they just don’t shop online a great deal with 38% not looking online at all. 62% say they are likely to purchase some school supplies from the Internet. As for the threads, 62% surveyed say they “not at all likely” to purchase BTS clothing and footwear online, and only 20% saying they are either “completely, very or moderately likely” to purchase clothing or footwear online. It seems most want their children to be able to try on clothing and footwear for the best fit prior to the school year.

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Inside That Brown Bag

Content Of Packed Lunches

Here’s an important question for food and beverage companies: What’s in the packed lunch? The focus on a healthy packed lunch is emphasised throughout most Australian schools, so it’s encouraging to see fruit, water and sandwiches as the most popular lunch box options, with a much smaller percentage of households including non-nutritious snacks such as soft drinks and lollies. For more than half of household surveyed (52%), shopping for packed lunch contents is a weekly affair, while 40% visit stores two or more times a week to supply their kids’ packed lunches.

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Snack Attack

Sometimes, the lunchbox contents fall short, or maybe the household ran out of time to pack an adequate lunch for the children. For those quick before and after-school meals, more than half listed Coles (26%) and Woolworths (25%) as the best quick option to hit the spot. McDonalds (10%) was slightly more popular than ALDI (7%).

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Frustrations with BTS shopping

Navigating the shops with a long list can be frustrating enough, but add to that the combination of not finding what you need, high prices or crowds and you have a recipe for annoyed shoppers. A whopping 53% said that out-of-stock products are one of the most frustrating parts of BTS shopping.

What Kids Have To Say

While most kids are excited and looking forward to starting or returning to school, there are also still nerves for some.


School The Competition This Year

Which brands will win Back To School 2017? Simple. Those that prepare and execute the best.
Mobile Audits & Research combine to offer companies a fast, affordable and simple way to learn about back-to-school shoppers and ensure BTS plans are properly executed inside stores.
So make the grade this back-to-school shopping season. Look to Mobile Audits & Research.

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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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