A big shake up at the shelf edge is underway for retailers in the grocery sector. The Buy One Get One Free promotions that we have all been used to seeing may be a thing of the past as the industry watchdog prepares to publish new guidelines by Easter.
Consumers are calling for better price transparency in-store so that they can avoid misleading deals which entice them to buy more than they actually need. Customers are becoming increasingly price conscious, have less storage space and are also wanting to reduce product wastage and lead healthier lifestyles. Therefore these multi-buy promotions are no longer in line with these goals. Sainsbury’s has been the first to act, announcing that it intends to scrap all Buy One Get One Free promotions by August, with offers on unhealthy products finishing by March.
According to Sainsbury’s Food Commercial Director, “Customer shopping habits have changed significantly in recent years, with people shopping more frequently, often seeking to buy what they need at that moment. Our customers have told us that multi-buy promotions don’t meet their shopping needs today, are often confusing and create challenges at home in terms of storage and waste.” Sainsbury’s intends to focus instead on delivering everyday low products across its stores.”
Asda has withdrawn 133 of its multi-buy products and while both Tesco and Morrisons have not made a statement about these specific promotions, they have recently opted for price reduction strategies, slashing prices on over 1,000 products in an attempt to win back market share from the discount retailers currently disrupting the food retailing business.
A recent survey by the government-backed Money Advice Service found that 76% of people regularly spent more than they intended to with an average overspend of £11.14 per shopping trip, costing the average consumer around £1,000 per year.
The survey also found that of the 2,000 survey respondents only 1 in 50 (2%) managed to pick out the best deal in all four cases.
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So the industry will wait to see the extent of the new guidelines which will look to penalise any retailers deemed to be misleading the public. Therefore it is crucial to review in-store promotional strategies to ensure that information displayed at the vital point of purchase is compliant, transparent and relevant in order to attract today’s consumer.
It is not only pricing that has a direct impact on customer confidence and loyalty. There have been many examples of inaccurate price and promotional tickets in-store. These are both embarrassing for the retailer and a turn off to shoppers. Therefore retailers need to focus attention on getting all aspects of in-store ticketing and signage right in order to keep customers happy and wanting to make repeat visits.
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