The Target Group Index (TGi) survey, the largest single source consumer brand and lifestyle survey in South Africa is part of the Ask Afrika Group. The fieldwork among 15,000 adults (16 years and older) takes place between February and November each year, and represent 19,842,000 consumers. This symbiotic relationship creates opportunities for syndicated and customised market research compatibility and harmonisation. TGi remains a rich source of data, not just in terms of brand and product usage but also on broader consumer trends like shopping behaviour.
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Who is behind the shopping basket?
The bulk shopper is by majority a black, female shopper with an average age between 21-29 years. Approximately 60% of bulk shoppers fall within the LSM 6-7 category and 48% live in Gauteng. The majority work full-time and they indicated that their salaries are paid via EFT at month-end, implying that they are also a banked market.
Bulk shopper trends
When one focuses on basket size changes, the marginal increase (1.6%) of an average weekly spend from R648.00 in 2009 to R683.00 currently, is below that of inflation for each of the years, showing that consumers are actually spending less. The impact of the economy has encouraged consumers to shop only once a month mainly on Saturdays (60%). Price and affordability remains the most important factors that influence purchase decisions, however advertising should emphasise the value for money aspect imbedded in products and brands consumers can choose from.
With a large portion of South African consumers living in informal areas, 40% have to travel some distance i.e. 5km or more to stores, and 55% do so via taxi. If basket sizes between top retailers such as Pick ‘n Pay of R826.00 is compared to those in spaza shops that is R608.00 it is clear that consumers will shop close to home should it be necessary if transport becomes a problem.
How do we reach the bulk shopper?
Media plans that are directed towards reaching bulk shoppers, should include campaigns targeted at traditional media channels such as television, radio and outdoor (51%). It is also important to note that bulk shoppers are more likely than the average South African to read newspapers and magazines. Print media, especially local newspaper consumption is an important vehicle for advertising since newspaper advertisements do not go unnoticed according to 79% of South African consumers. Iin fact 56% of consumers confirmed that newspaper inserts influence the purchase decision. Local newspapers are key, when consumers do bargain hunting, since 50% agreed that they use their local newspaper as tools to search for bargains.
In summary more and more retailers such as Game gear themselves as ‘one stop shops’ in order to attract the South African bulk shopper who visits stores at month-end during the weekend. South Africans will continue to be price sensitive ‘penny pinchers’ with the ‘value for money principle’ key to any purchase decision. Proximity of store locations is crucial, and should travel be a problem, spaza shop purchases can replace retail store visits. Traditional media channels are important when prices of various brands and product ranges are compared, putting the onus back on brand owners to ensure product availability when shoppers decide to spend money at month end.