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Shopper Insights 2020: The why behind the buy

It’s easy to see what consumers are buying at retail, but if we’re going to understand how to grow those sales, we need to know the why behind the buy.

In this week’s installment of Shopper Insights 2020, we’re delving into the motivations behind purchase.

Moxxy Marketing BB #:341508 commissioned Shopper Insights 2020: Consumer Trends, Shopping Behaviors and Marketing Opportunities, a survey of 2,000 American produce consumers conducted in August and analyzed by Category Partners. In a partnership with Blue Book Services, Moxxy plans to present these findings over the next several months.

We typically think of the sensory experience of fresh produce as a key driver for purchase, and indeed, survey respondents were heavily motivated by “what looks good” at in-store and even online.

“Every demographic group said they relied most on “Stores/Markets/What Looks good” for ideas on what produce to buy. So, the produce aisle is still the most important sales vehicle, reinforcing the importance of packaging, point-of-sale materials and displays to retail grocers and producers,” said Karen Nardozza, President/CEO of Moxxy Marketing. “Adding in online and social media as sources for ideas, people are buying and eating produce with their eyes first, highlighting the critical role good photographs and presentations play in driving purchases of produce.”

Forty-three percent of respondents highlighted the importance of displays, packaging, and photography – the visual appeal – of produce the purchased.

One-fourth of consumers get their ideas for what to buy while shopping at the store or market, and 16 percent get their ideas online.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that younger shoppers are more likely to get ideas from social media, while those over age 75 cited store ads for purchase motivation.

What may surprise you, however, is that less than 10 percent of respondents under age 75 said a store ad or sale prompted purchase.

Key differences in demographics influence produce purchase as well.

Shoppers age 25-44, and those with children, rely more on social media and websites than family and friends. On the other hand, those who shop at discount stores said they are influenced by social media more than the general population.

“Demographic analysis is useful to marketers, but making monolithic assumptions on groups can lead to missed opportunities. For example, while people under 45 are more likely to get ideas online than are older demographic groups, they are still most likely to get their purchase inspiration in-store,” said Nardozza. “And over one-third of people over 55 get at least some of their purchase motivations online.”

People who prefer to shop Natural/Specialty stores and Warehouse/Club Stores also are more influenced by the in-store experience than the general population.

Online shoppers, of course, are more heavily influenced by websites as well.

What factors aren’t inspiring produce purchase, according to the survey respondents?

Magazines, cookbooks, seasonal selections, scored the lowest among respondents.

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.