Experience, Not Price, Influences Store Choice
Woman in store with smartphone

Experience, Not Price, Influences Store Choice

Australian shoppers are more time-constrained when buying their food and groceries, with shoppers now making four trips less per month when compared to 2015. From supermarkets to convenience stores, butchers to bakeries, fast food restaurants to pharmacies, the latest Nielsen Shopper Trends report reveals that Australian shoppers make approximately 37 shopping trips every month.


Compared to the rest of the world, Australia ranks among the highest countries for the proportion of total grocery sales sold on promotion. However, while value for money is important when choosing where to shop, Australian shoppers are looking for a more rounded in-store experience. High quality products, wide product selection and everything available in one shopping trip are among the top influencers of store choice.


As well as factors that influence store choice, it’s also important to understand which categories influence store choice the most. Retailers that focus on their produce, meat, bakery and dairy areas are well placed to attract shoppers by leveraging the in-store experience. Equally, brands also have a part to play when influencing store choice through the products they range. Brands can do this by considering packaging that grabs attention, products that make shoppers feel good and products that contribute to a better overall shopping experience. While product offerings need to be valuable to the end consumer, what shoppers are looking for in store is ‘experience’ over ‘products’.

Tied into these experience attributes is product quality – a key component that influences perceptions of value and store equity for shoppers. Retailers can lead the way with quality in two major areas:

  1. Understand that the fresh food and dairy departments act as gateway categories influencing store selection. Ensuring these departments perform well is essential to getting shoppers through the door.
  2. From a convenience perspective, ready-to-eat meal quality is more important than shoppers consciously realise. This is proven through higher overall ratings being associated with retailers that do ready-to-eat well.


As well as the convenience that shoppers seek in-store, shoppers are also opting for convenient shopping solutions out-of-store. In 2018, online grocery purchasing was the fastest-growing grocery sector – growing at 36% compared to 2017. More than one-in-ten Australians have purchased groceries online in the last month, and one-in-four are likely to purchase online groceries in the next six months. Breaking down shopper barriers like hidden charges, product quality concerns, the ability to examine products, and overcoming inconvenient delivery times are just some of the main ways to directly improve the path-to-purchase while maximising online grocery’s growth rate. With a large proportion of shoppers taking advantage of click-and-collect, it’s obvious that shoppers are still willing to go in-store if it works for them. With online purchases like this, winning the occasion doesn’t happen at the expense of brick and mortar sales. Brands and retailers who win in the future will be the ones that understand how to harmonise their strategy between channels and across formats.

With a high proportion of grocery purchasing being on promoted products, lower brand loyalty, more retail fragmentation and the rise of e-commerce, brands need to shift their focus from a price-mindset to a shopper experience-mindset.


Putting your shopper at the centre of what you do is crucial for modern retail success. As manufacturers and retailers are confronted with time-poor consumers who are increasingly turning to the convenience of online shopping, understanding the shoppers’ in-store experience, and their ultimate ‘moment of truth’ in the shopping aisles has become more important than ever before.

Whether in grocery, convenience, pharmacy or in e-commerce, it’s imperative to know what influences shopper journeys and what drives store choice for the Australian shopper. Reach out to us using the contact us form below to find out about:

  • Where today’s omnichannel shopper frequents
  • Which channels drive the biggest sales for your brand
  • If online is right for you