Event Info

Why Invest

There has never been a more important time to understand the shopper. Brick and mortar stores have remained resilient whilst online shopping has accelerated. Although the overarching shopper need states still hold true, how they have translated in the context of the pandemic has adjusted shopper behaviour and missions. Trade Intelligence expands on these shifts in the latest Shopper Marketing at Retail Report, launching 27 May 2021. 

Are shoppers really loyal? Cross-shopping by South African shoppers
The South African shopper has become increasingly savvy in seeking value. One of the key shopper need states in the Ti ‘Shopper Needs’ model is that of ‘Value as a necessity’, which is a direct result of the depressed economic situation many South African shoppers find themselves in. This value seeking reality is present at all income levels – low-income earners need a good deal, while high-income earners love them. 

Shoppers place little importance on which stores fall under which retail groups – a higher proportion of Checkers shoppers also shop at Pick n Pay than at Shoprite, and they are not loyal to a group of related stores, but they will certainly shop around to find what they need, how they need it and at the price they are prepared to pay for it. More than ever, shoppers are shopping across retail brands. To further drive this point, it is interesting to note that even Woolworths has grant recipients making up 14% of its otherwise relatively affluent shopper base (Source: PAMS). 

If we can assume that where shoppers spend the biggest part of their grocery budget is an indication of their loyalty – or behavioural loyalty, at least – then Shoprite is leading the way, with 58% of its shopper base spending the biggest part of their grocery budgets at Shoprite stores (Source: PAMS).

So, how do retailers and consumer goods companies offer value to a shopper that is constantly seeking value and is willing to cross-shop?


1. One size does not fit all:

The reality is that R300 means different things to different shoppers. For low-income shoppers, R300 could mean purchasing essential grocery staples for a month at SPAR, whilst for a high-income earner, a “eat in for R300” offer from Woolworths could be a compelling value offer. 


2. Don’t ignore the low-income earner:

Even Woolworths has a shopper base made up of SASSA grant recipients. Consider what offers are best placed to attract low-income earners or shoppers trading down at key times in the month.



3. Loyalty cards:

Loyalty cards are less about loyalty than attracting shoppers with more personalised offers through discounts. The Shoprite Group grabbed the attention of 17 million price-savvy South African shoppers who joined its Xtra Savings loyalty programme since initial launch into Checkers in October 2019. The programme was later extended to Shoprite stores in October 2020.


Download the opinion article HERE

Explore more about the value savvy South African shopper, their behaviour and some exciting case studies on how some businesses have attracted them, in TI’s latest Shopper Marketing at Retail special report.




Browse other articles