Christmas 2018

The countdown to Christmas is on!  Shoppers are making their lists and checking them twice.

Which retailers will they shop at?  What gifts will they buy and at what price?

Will they shop online or in-store? Is everything put on credit? Does anyone use cash anymore?

These answers and more you will find here – wishing all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

While the logical ‘head’ drivers of affordability and product quality take out the top two reasons behind gifting, it’s delightful to see the next three most common things people think about when buying gifts are ‘emotional’, from the heart, and truly capture the spirit of Christmas.

Mass merchandisers like Kmart have done a brilliant job at aligning their product offers to these drivers, and this is highlighted earlier in the top retailers that shoppers are choosing to spend their money at this Christmas.

How’s this for motivation to fight for display space and ensure your displays are fully stocked: 

70% of grocery shoppers are influenced by displays when deciding which groceries to buy for Christmas feasting.

The best displays are dressed to impress and inspire shoppers. How is your business contributing to the theatre of retail?

Above: Images of real in-store retail displays captured by Agents

Pets Insights

2018 may be Year of the Dog according to the Chinese zodiac, but in Australia every year is year of the dog! Australia is reported to have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, and of the 1,000 Australian pet owners that we surveyed, 71% of them own a dog. It is estimated that more than 60% of Australian households own a pet and most consider their pets to be part of the family. Despite this, there is not much Australian research about pet ownership and the petcare category. Here’s what we found out from 1,000 Australian pet owners.

ABOUT AUSSIE PET OWNERS

Agents were only too happy to share with us some pictures of their pets. Here are some of the faces of the pets behind the stats in this survey.

PET RETAIL

Aussie pet owners overwhelmingly still prefer bricks and mortar retailers over online retailers, with supermarkets dominating pet food retail, and rating highly among other key purchase categories.

THE PET FOOD SHOPPER

When it comes to pet food, most pet owners are not looking for the cheapest brand they can find. Almost half of pet owners ranked quality ingredients as their first or second most important factor when purchasing pet food. Only 17% of shoppers rated price as the most important factor.
Dietary requirements was another important consideration that ranked marginally more important than price and value for money, and the dietary elements that shoppers consider most when purchasing pet food continue to demonstrate the consumer behaviour of humanising pet food.

Whilst shoppers may be seeking out brands that have natural colours and flavours, no preservatives and minimal processing, the vast majority of pet owners place great trust in the high quality and safety standards for food and manufacturing in Australia, and are not aware that the pet food industry is self-regulated (80%). This may all change soon however, as we await the outcome of the Senate inquiry into regulatory approaches to ensure the safety of pet food, due to be delivered on October 16, 2018.

PAMPERED PETS

Australians do not think that their pets are overly pampered – though the scores are notably different for those who consider their pets to be ‘Animals that they care for’ (ave. rating 3.3) versus those who consider their pets to be their children, also known as ‘fur-babies’ (ave.rating 7.9). Pet owners like to express the love they have for their pets by buying them gifts, such as edible treats and toys.

FOCUS ON FUR BABIES

Insights on Alcohol Consumption in Australia: Part 2

Recently we shared our infograph of the alcohol consumption and purchase habits of 1,000 Australian drinkers. (If you missed Part 1, you can find it here).
In Part 2 you will learn about:
  • Alcoholic drinks of choice across consumption occasions;
  • Adjacent consumption categories of spirit mixers and snacking;
  • Social trends impacting purchase decisions; and
  • Offline versus online behaviour.

I like to have a beer rum with Duncan

When you consider the penetration level of various alcohols and the occasions in which they are most popular, it’s easy to see that alcohol plays a huge role in Australian culture. White spirits achieved the highest level of penetration amongst drinkers, and the most popular occasions for drinking white spirits are when socialising, whether that’s at a licensed venue, at home with others or at a big event or party. Sparkling wine came a close second, with most people enjoying sparkling wine to celebrate special events such as weddings.

When it comes to domestic settings, cider has certainly made its way into the mainstream, proving a popular choice ahead of both craft and non-craft beer. 
Wine excels across many consumption occasions, particularly at home and accompanying a meal at a restaurant. Although penetration is low, rosé is a popular choice for drinking at home with others and at weddings and large events, suggesting that it is an appealing option for something a little different to white wine. Interestingly, when it comes to weddings and big events, men are more likely than women to reach for the rosè!
This macro view of alcohol consumption does not take into account the frequency or volume of consumption – nonetheless, it represents opportunities for brand growth through increasing penetration and breaking into new consumption occasions.

Getting into the Spirit

Want to know what alcohol makes it into the hearts and homes of real Australians? We asked! Check out some examples of our Agents’ home liquor stashes.

And how are Aussies drinking spirits? Mostly mixed – full sugar soft drinks are still the most popular spirit mixers, with a preference for soda water or tonic water over diet soft drinks. Cocktails are also a popular choice, particularly among Millennials (25% vs 19% Gen X). The slow drinking movement favours a serving on the rocks – and we even asked this survey in the middle of Winter!

Top Tipple Nibbles

When it comes to snacking when drinking, savoury snacks are where it’s at. Potato chips are the most popular snack of choice, with Aussies proving almost as fond of cheese platters. There are some intrinsic differences between males and females when it comes to snack choice – females prefer cheese platters (73%) over potato chips (63%), whereas males prefer potato chips (71%) over cheese platters (55%). Females also prefer antipasto platters (45%) over nuts (29%), whereas men prefer nuts (38%) over antipasto platters (32%).

Social Trends Impacting Purchase Decisions

Many liquor brands are looking to social trends to remain relevant and unlock new sources of growth. When it comes to health considerations, the top two priorities are low carb (29%) and low sugar (25%). Interestingly, our research indicates that 40.5% of drinkers do not consider any health or social responsibility factors when purchasing alcohol, and of the 59.5% that do, most consider which products are Australian made and/or owned ahead of diet and health factors.

Online Versus Offline Behaviour

In an age where online retail is challenging bricks and mortar, and print media is struggling to compete with online publications, packaged alcohol is one category that is slow to move. In Part 1 of our study we reported that 93% of packaged alcohol purchases are still made in-store. You may also be surprised to learn that more than half of alcohol drinkers check out the alcohol specials in catalogues and newspapers, highlighting the need to nail the in-store execution of planned promotions and validating that print media continues to be a valuable investment of marketing dollars.
Online consumer behaviour is a vastly different story. In the past six months only 16% of alcohol drinkers have ordered alcohol online using a click and collect option, and the uptake of delivery options are lower again with only 9% having ordered for same-day delivery and only 2% having tried an on-demand delivery service. However, when queried about the likelihood of purchasing alcohol to be delivered same-day within the next six months, 62% were open to the possibility.
For now, our data suggests that brands and retailers can get the best bang for their online-buck by curating content that inspires consumers with recipes and credible online reviews, but the bulk of resources should still be focussed on in-store execution, engagement and shopper insights.

AMAZON.com.au – Beyond Speculation

Amazon’s arrival in Australia was one of the most hyped retail events of 2017. “Huge disruption” and a “retail revolution” was predicted but despite of all the speculation it appears to have been anything but spectacular. Our Digital Shopper survey back in March showed that 48% of Aussie online shoppers had looked but not bought anything from the Amazon Australia site, with a further 40% who either hadn’t looked at it or didn’t even know it existed. We’re already hearing of marketplace sellers making a swift exit after months of low or no sales.
Speculation continues as we await Amazon to fire up all engines whilst remaining tight-lipped about their movements. We can’t tell you what Amazon will do next, but we can tell you what Australian shoppers have to say about them. We surveyed 700 shoppers who buy from either Amazon US and/or Amazon AU sites. Here’s what we found out:

Whilst 39% of Amazon shoppers have shopped both the US and AU sites in the past 6 months, 35% have not made a purchase from the AU site. Why is that?
The main reason is that the AU site prices are not so Amaz-ing, according to 40% of shoppers. This echoes widely-held post-launch sentiment and is owing largely to the fact that the AU site only went live with listings from third party sellers on Amazon Marketplace, a reason that 6% of shoppers acknowledged. Marketplace sellers are going to need to sharpen their price points if they want to compete when Amazon actually starts listing products for sale itself.
Price is not the only reason, though. Of equal importance to shoppers has been the lack of range and not being able to find what they wanted (40%). This will no doubt improve over time as more sellers jump on board and Amazon unleashes its own range, but as we’ve seen so far this process is a slow burn.
It will be interesting to see if those 35% of shoppers who have only shopped the Amazon US site will be compelled to try the AU site when, from July 1, Amazon will stop its overseas sites from delivering to Australian addresses to dodge the minefield of complying with GST legislation. Keen shoppers will need to engage a freight forwarding service and pay the GST themselves.
Before this all unfurled, we had asked Agents how the introduction of the GST to online purchases under $1000 from overseas might impact their shopping behaviour. Only 8% had indicated that they intended to keep shopping on the US site. 14% stated they would shop elsewhere and 52% were unsure. Now that shoppers will need to use a freight forwarding service to continue to shop through Amazon US, Amazon may be disappointed if they were expecting to pump the lost volume back through the new AU site. Given the prices and range on the Australian site aren’t currently up to scratch, the short-term future for Australian retailers is looking brighter.

So what are shoppers buying from Amazon AU and how satisfied have they been with the experience?

Books and electronics continue to form the core of Amazon’s business with 52% of shoppers purchasing books and 47% of shopper purchasing electronics from the Amazon AU site so far.

At the time of this survey, fulfilment by Amazon had not yet commenced. Despite not yet being able to experience the fast, low cost delivery experience that Amazon is renowned for, most shoppers were surprisingly happy with delivery cost and speed. It is also worth noting that of those who shop the US site but haven’t yet shopped the AU site, delivery time and cost ranked very low (4% and 9%) in the list of reasons that they hadn’t shopped the AU site yet. 

How Primed are Aussies for Amazon Prime?

Now that fulfilment by Amazon has been switched on, the next big anticipated offer yet to be unveiled to Aussie shoppers is the Amazon Prime membership program.

In the US, Amazon Prime offers shoppers access to free two-day shipping (and same-day delivery in eligible postcode regions), as well as streaming video/music. Most of its 90 million subscribers (nearly half of its total user base) pay an annual subscription for the service (approx. AUD$17/month or AUD$130/yr).
We explained what Amazon Prime offers in the US to get a read from Australian shoppers on their level of interest.

Of the people who were interested or unsure of Amazon Prime, it seems that while the annual fee in the US is USD$99, the AUD$99 mark is where most Australian’s deem it wouldn’t be worth it.
Given Australian Amazon shoppers have so far been happy or undeterred by delivery times or costs, perhaps the issue is simply that they do not foresee themselves purchasing enough online with Amazon in a year to justify the cost of a Prime membership?
Making things even more interesting, Ebay recently announced Ebay Plus, a membership delivery service available from mid-June offering unlimited deliveries and returns on new items for a low annual fee of $49. Pass the popcorn!

Does Prime pose a risk to existing media subscription services?

Nearly 90% of shoppers surveyed currently have at least one media subscription. Many subscribe to multiple services, so it’s fair to say that Aussie’s would be keen to consider another subscription if the value was good and the content worthwhile.
The positive news for other subscription businesses is that even if shoppers added Amazon Prime to their subscriptions, the majority (68%) claim that they wouldn’t cancel any of their existing subscriptions.

Looking Ahead

It appears that Australian online shoppers haven’t bought into the Amazon hype and don’t anticipate mass changes to their online shopping behaviour any time soon, but don’t let this lure you into a false sense of security.

Despite the slow start, Amazon have picked an opportune time to launch in Australia. Practically every week another big-name retailer is collapsing into administration. We hope you’re riding unicorn waves of growth. If not, we trust that you have all eyes and ears on the ground to ensure that your strategies are informed by customer insight and are being executed as planned across all channels. May the odds be ever in your favour.

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.