Supermarkets, Super Gains and Super Opportunities

Supermarkets, Super Gains and Super Opportunities

Retail's Push in the shifting consumer and market landscapes

Amidst shifting consumer and market landscapes, supermarkets continue to be the major retail player with grocery sales proving to be indispensable. Last year, supermarkets and hypermarkets contributed to 68.4% of retail sales share, setting a solid retail footprint. This is according to Nielsen’s 2019 Shopper Trends report, which examines grocery retail trends and changing shopping patterns, attitudes and behaviour.

With 83% of shoppers spending the most time in supermarkets and hypermarkets versus other retail locales and 86% having visited either of them in the past seven days, these outlets are preferred and patronised channels. This has increased from a year ago in 2017 where it was 80% and 79% respectively. Shoppers have a high level of responsiveness towards visual stimuli. The strong sensory component of supermarkets may have contributed to this growth as the vivid, colourful and engaging myriad of products appeal to them. Supermarkets are also a convenient ‘one stop shop’, as a variety of goods can be purchased in a single trip.


Online grocery business is also booming. Last year, e-commerce sales grew by 52.4%. Seamless click throughs and precise interface layout are thus crucial in guiding quick, fuss-free purchases.

As e-commerce becomes increasingly popular, it is useful to understand what shoppers prefer to buy online. In 2018, 49% of online purchases are for the delivery of bulky pantry stock-ups, which functions as a time saver while reducing the need to carry heavy items. Unsurprisingly the top categories purchased online are bulky products like household cleaners (51%), personal care items (48% facial care, 47% hair care, 45% body care) and paper products (44%).


Shoppers are also spending more in grocery. Last year, $663 was the average monthly grocery spend, which is an increase from $623 in 2017. With this increase in spend, what are some favourite products that shoppers are buying?

Highest growth was enjoyed by snacks and confectionary at +2.2% versus 2017, driven by popular local flavors like salted egg yolk, which proved to capture the hearts and appetite of consumers. Shelf-stable packed food, rice and condiments came in second (+1.6% increase for all). This is as a result of innovations in exotic or trendy instant noodle flavors, as well as increased sales in butter and margarine. Opportunities arise in riding on ‘fashionable’ food movements to position yourself as a creative and up-to-date brand, enabling your shoppers to feel fresh and in vogue.  


Experiential retail continues to be a strong shopper magnet. In 2018, 84% of shoppers indicated that they “prefer to shop in a well-organised store with pleasant ambience”. As grocery shopping is evolving into an enjoyable experience that shoppers appreciate, multiple opportunities abound for retailers to reinvent and develop innovative shopping experiences.

Simplicity and orderliness in product arrangement, as well as a cozy yet elegant retail environment can create a delightful shopping experience that attracts shoppers. For shoppers, it is not just about hard sales and discounts, but also their patronised stores having an attractive and sophisticated brand identity. Customer service remains as a classic ‘must have’, as 75% stated that customer service is a core retail essential.


42% of shoppers are shopping weekly versus 36% a year ago in 2017, with an average of 8 visits per month but with smaller baskets on each trip. This presents more instances for marketing and brand image cultivation, where increased touch points with customers give rise to enhanced opportunities for consumer delectation, fascination and enticement.

As 70% plan what to buy and most (68%) end up buying more last year, in-store triggers are important to fuel purchase where in-the-moment targeting results in impulse incremental purchases. This is especially so when there is a 6% increase from 2017 in shoppers who visit retailers for leisure shopping, giving rise to increased opportunities for unplanned purchases. Shopping transforms into a journey of discovery where shoppers go for what they believe provides them the best instant gratification.

Ultimately, intimate audience knowledge is crucial for targeted business strategies that addresses the shoppers’ needs, wants and aspirations. Our Nielsen Singapore Shopper Trends Report 2019 empowers you to gain deep insights into shoppers’ preferences and motivations, enabling you to stand out in the competitive marketplace as a personal and exclusive brand. When a retail outlet evolves beyond having more than just products to offering creative store layouts and interactive service, shoppers can be better pleased, resulting in stronger brand loyalty.

For more information on this report, kindly reach out to your Nielsen Client Representative.