retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Information Resources Inc. (IRI) is out with its Q2 2013 MarketPulse survey, saying that it suggests that "consumers have settled into the 'new normal' of conservative purchase behaviors and attitudes, so consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers must keep their finger on the economic pulse and find innovative ways to entice consumers to loosen their purse strings."

There is some measure of optimism in the survey: "28 percent (of millennials) feel their financial situation has improved during the past year, versus 20 percent of those aged 25-54 and 16 percent of those aged 55-plus," and "42 percent (of millennials) expect their financial position to improve it the coming year, versus 26 percent of those aged 35-54 and 17 percent of those aged 55-plus."

The survey goes on: According to the Q2 2013 MarketPulse survey, 56 percent of consumers will decide on most of the products they will purchase before they step foot out of their homes, versus 59 percent in Q2 2011. While 58 percent of consumers say coupons and 76 percent say brand experience are important, today's shoppers are very in tune with price. In fact, the survey also uncovered that 52 percent of shoppers choose the store in which they will shop, because it offers lower prices on items they need. To find the lowest prices, shoppers are embracing a variety of tools, such as:

• 65 percent use prices advertised in retailers' weekly grocery circular to compare prices.
• 56 percent compare prices across area retailers to identify lowest prices.
• 26 percent use prices on retailer websites to compare prices

And, not all purchase decisions are made at the kitchen table. The following store-based marketing tactics still influence the final brand decision:

• Shopper loyalty card discount, 48 percent.
• In-store circular, 44 percent.
• Signs/displays in store, 28 percent.
• In-store kiosk, 10 percent.
• In-store touch screen digital display, 4 percent.
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