More Than Half Of All Grocery Shoppers Are List Free

Continued recessionary conditions have prompted savvy shoppers to develop various coping mechanisms to stretch the family budget. These new behaviors affect the way they become aware, research, plan, and ultimately shop for groceries and CPG products. Not surprisingly, these changes in behavior are largely focused in the Pre-TailTM phase of the shopping process. This month’s issue of The Checkout continues our examination of shoppers’ pre-planning behaviors and how they translate to in-store buying habits. This month we explore the shopping list.

Penetration of the shopping list is fairly substantial, with 43% of general market shoppers reporting that they “always” rely on a shopping list. Still, more than half of consumers (57%) are shopping-list-free at least some of the time making impulse buying and in-store promotion a larger part of the buying decision. Though it’s good for shoppers, list usage can potentially have negative effects on retailers and brands by limiting time in store, reducing exposure to in-store marketing materials, the number of items in the basket per trip, and the number of shopping trips–especially the one-bag or impulse-trip types. However, some retailers, such as Whole Foods, have responded in clever ways by supporting shoppers’ use of lists via digital applications that provide recipe-driven ingredient lists, in-store specials, and coupon support, which serve to guide shoppers through the store and extend the amount of time they spend there.

Read more about shopping list behaviors in this month’s issue of The Checkout, click here to download.