The “big shop” decision making process

The countdown is on for Christmas. Eight sleeps left to be precise. Mustard’s Christmas present to its dedicated blog readers this year is a snapshot of some emerging insights from a survey we have recently undertaken with UK consumers around their Christmas shopping intentions and decision making processes, particularly the “big shop” decision making process.

These results are from a survey undertaken of 550 UK grocery shoppers between 28th November and 5th December 2018.

the big shop decision making process stats

Those who have already decided which supermarket they will use (55%) are more likely to be those that did the “big shop” at Morrisons last year (60%) and least likely to be those that did the “big shop” at Sainsbury’s (48%).

Almost a third (31%) say “I have not decided which supermarket we will use, but have a good idea as to which it will be” – so although their decision is not set in stone, their custom may be harder to prise from their expected store of choice.

Around 7% of the market (which can be aggregated to around £1.9m households) are open to persuasion – 4% say “I have not decided which supermarket we will use, but have a shortlist of preferences to choose between”, whilst 3% say “I have no idea which supermarket we will use yet”.

How to persuade the undecided shoppers?

So what do the undecided shoppers say would persuade them to choose one store over another?

It appears there are three cohorts of priorities.

1. Low prices and good deals

Christmas is an expensive time of year, and many consumers need to work the budgets harder than ever. Hence, almost two thirds (64%) say best offers and deals is in their top 5 priorities (in particular Aldi shoppers). More than half (54%) say low prices is a top priority. On top of this, a quarter of the market (25%) are looking to extract value by choosing retailers that will allow them to spend or redeem loyalty points or vouchers.

2. Quality and freshness

Despite the need for value, we know there are certain products and categories where consumers do not want to compromise quality; in fact the need for quality is dialled-up at this time of year for many.  The most important factor of all (with 70% saying it is a priority) is best quality products. Previous research conducted earlier this year highlighted freshness (long use by dates) as the most important factor for food shopping, and this also remains of importance at Christmas, with 45% placing it in their top 5 factors (down 2% compared with our previous survey).

the "big shop" decision making process
3. Ease and speed of shop

Aside from these factors, there are many that relate to getting the “job done” as quickly and as pain-free as possible. Other priorities for the undecided shoppers include:

  • Easiest to travel to and from (43%)
  • Familiarity with store layout (where things are) (26%)
  • Least products out-of-stock (sold out) (24%)
  • Shortest queues (20%)
  • Longest opening hours (16%)
  • Least busy (15%)
the big shop decision making process

So now is the time to be ensuring the store experience is delivering on all of these priorities as consumer decisions are being finalised!

Look out for tomorrow’s blog on which UK retailers consumers are expecting to have a “good” or a “bad” Christmas!