Shopping behavior: Shopping patterns
Trip behavior has been on the slow decline for several years. But, a more granular assessment of shopping trip behavior tells a more complex story. The grocery channel still clearly holds the lion's share of CPG trips. However, like most CPG channels, this one saw frequency decline in 2014.
These declines are caused by a number of factors. The economic downturn and fluctuating -- sometimes very high -- gas prices have left an indelible mark on shoppers, and many recession-driven efforts to conserve money have become long-standing CPG habits. Competition for share of spending has also escalated as retailers hone assortments and store formats in an effort to win over shoppers and, ultimately, find new ways to grow in an evolving marketplace.
During the past year, several value channels such as club and dollar have experienced increased trip frequency. Some of the momentum these channels are experiencing can be explained by changing trip mission strategies. For example, pantry-stocking missions, which are shopping trips in which consumers purchase relatively large baskets of goods in an effort to stock their pantry for the upcoming week, have recovered from the economic downturn and are key in regards to club channels.
Dollar channel growth is being supported by a number of factors, including increased store population, beefed-up assortments, and store remodels that are helping to increase channel appeal among middle and upper-income consumers.
Advancing technology, evolving demography and a transforming economy are coming together to catalyze an industry revolution like none before. An understanding of these factors is a required foundation for building a bridge of near constant and real-time communication with these shoppers that will drive purchase behavior and solidify long-term shopper loyalty.