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SMU/Cox November 4, 2005. Retail Formats and the Myth of Shopper Loyalty. Professor Edward Fox W.R. and Judy Howell Director JCPenney Center for Retail Excellence. Old Paradigm. Location, Location, Location! Virtually every study of consumer shopping behavior has concluded that:

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SMU/Cox

November 4, 2005

Retail Formats and the Myth of Shopper Loyalty

Professor Edward Fox

W.R. and Judy Howell Director

JCPenney Center for Retail Excellence


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Old Paradigm

Location, Location, Location!

  • Virtually every study of consumer shopping behavior has concluded that:

    • Convenience is the most important factor in consumers’ store choices

    • Price

      • EDLP, or

      • Promotional pricing

    • Product assortment


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Shoppers Responded to the Old Paradigm by Being Pretty Loyal

  • In the US

    • 56% of shoppers reported that they were loyal to the same specialty stores >5 years (American Express Retail Index 1999)

    • About 50% of shoppers were found to be loyal to a single supermarket (Bell and Lattin 1998)

  • Outside the US

    • 38% is Worchester, MA shopped at the closest supermarket (Thompson 1967)

    • 50% in Christchurch,NZ bought groceries, meat and vegetables at the closest stores (Clark 1968, Clark and Rushton 1970)

    • 25% in Manchester, UK bought bread at closest store (Fingleton 1975)

Reported loyalty levels approached or exceeded 50%, but …


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On the Other Hand, Grocery Stores Are “Leaking” Shoppers

  • The average household visits 2.2 grocery stores per week

  • Over 80% of households visit their favorite grocery store fewer than once a week

What is going on?

  • FMI (1989-1993)

    • 24% - 29% of customers reported switching grocery stores in a year

  • Measured Marketing, (Woolf 1993)

    • 25% - 50% of grocery store customers leave a store each year


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What Is Shopper Loyalty?

  • “Share of Wallet”

    • The proportion of a customer’s purchases in a retail format (e.g., supermarket, mass, drug) that is made at a given retailer

    • Proportion of a customer’s purchases of a given category or type of products (e.g., packaged goods, apparel) that is made at a given retailer

Nearly all loyalty studies have focused on a single retail format


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Shopper LoyaltyWITHIN SUPERMARKETS

  • We tested “share of requirements” loyalty within format for two supermarkets

We found that …

  • Loyal customers account for most of a store’s revenues

  • The majority of a retailer’s customers make most of their purchases outside of its stores

Source: ACNielsen multi-outlet panel data, 1993-4


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Shopper LoyaltyACROSS FORMATS

Shoppers are much more likely to shop at two or more retail formats during a week than to shop at supermarkets alone

So … households shop in multiple formats

  • We also examined shopper loyalty across formats and found that…

Source: IRI panel of 589 panelists from Oct 1995 - Oct 1997


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Shopper LoyaltyACROSS FORMATS

Many large packaged goods categories are now bought predominantly outside of grocery stores

  • Category by category, in which retail formats are packaged goods purchases made?

Packaged Goods Purchases in Retail Formats for Selected Categories

Source: IRI panel of 589 panelists from Oct 1995 - Oct 1997


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Shopper LoyaltyACROSS FORMATS

The vast majority of households shop in grocery, mass, and drug stores

  • How are shopping trips and packaged goods spending allocated across formats?

Shopping Trips and Packaged Goods Spending Across Retail Formats

Source: IRI panel of 589 panelists from Oct 1995 - Oct 1997


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Shopper LoyaltyLOYALTY SEGMENTS

  • Segmentation based on store loyalty within and across formats

Store / Format Loyal

Size: 15%

Moderate Store / Format Loyal

Size: 26%

Other

Other

Fav

Other

Fav

Fav

Fav

Other

GROCERY

MASS

DRUG

CLUB

Source: IRI panel of 364 panelists from Oct 1995 - Oct 1997


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Shopper LoyaltyLOYALTY SEGMENTS

  • Segmentation based on store loyalty within and across formats

Format Loyal / Store Switcher

Size: 39%

Size: 10%

Format and Store Switcher

Other

Other

Fav

Other

Fav

Fav

Fav

Other

GROCERY

MASS

DRUG

CLUB

Source: IRI panel of 364 panelists from Oct 1995 - Oct 1997


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Shopper LoyaltyLOYALTY SEGMENTS

Primary Mass Merchandiser

Primary Mass Merchandiser

Size: 7%

Size: 7%

Size: 3%

Primary Warehouse Club

With 22% of households now using supercenters for their primary shopping trips, this segment has grown!

Other

Other

Fav

Other

Fav

Fav

Fav

Other

GROCERY

MASS

DRUG

CLUB

  • Segmentation based on store loyalty within and across formats

Source: IRI panel of 364 panelists from Oct 1995 - Oct 1997



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Why Aren’t Shoppers Loyal?

  • Store Switching – The consumer may choose a different store whenever s/he shops, depending on

    • Where s/he is

    • What s/he needs

  • Multi-Store Shopping – The consumer may use multiple stores to meet her/his needs

    • Consumers shop strategically!!


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Why Aren’t Shoppers Loyal?STORE SWITCHING

  • Product Mix

    • Assortment differences – Destination categories / products (research with Rick Briesch)

    • Variety differences – One-stop-shopping

  • “Stock Up” vs. “Fill In” Trips

    • Purpose of the shopping trip depends on what and how much the consumer needs (research with John Semple)

  • Routing

  • Internet

    • 1.8% of retail sales, and growing slowly


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Store Switching“STOCK UP” VS “FILL IN” TRIPS

  • EXAMPLE – Suppose you need to buy 10 units of “stuff.”Which store should you choose?

    • Kroger (a neighborhoodstore): a “unit” costs $4.00. Shopping cost is low (say $1.00). Total acquisition cost is 1 + (10  4) = 41.

    • Sam’s Club (a low-price store): a “unit” costs $3.00. Shopping cost is high (say $8.00). Total acquisition cost is 8 + (10  3) = 38.

So…

  • Shoppers are trading off convenience and price

  • The more a shopper needs, the more important price becomes


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Store Switching“STOCK UP” VS “FILL IN” TRIPS

  • Basket sizes, for store switchers, at the …

    Neighborhood StoreLow-Price Store

We find that:

  • Shoppers buy less than half as much on a trip to the neighborhood store, compared to a low-price store

  • Shoppers stockpile at low-price stores


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Store Switching ROUTE

Where does the trip begin and end?

  • From home to home?

  • From work to home?

Changing routes are hard to observe, but are likely to be responsible for a lot of switching behavior


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Shopper LoyaltyMULTI-STORE SHOPPING

  • “Trip chaining” – Make unrelated purchases on the same trip

  • Price search – Search until you find an attractive price

  • “Cherry picking” – Visit multiple stores for their bargain prices


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Multi-Store ShoppingPRICE SEARCH AND “TRIP CHAINING”

How does retail location affect multi-store shopping?

(research with Steve Postrel)

RETAIL LOCATION

Relative to customers

Relative to other stores

Retail Competition

Destination Effect

Specifically, how are retailer revenues affected by nearby supermarkets, drug stores, mass merchandisers and supercenters, dollar stores and warehouse clubs?


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Multi-Store ShoppingPRICE SEARCH AND “TRIP CHAINING”

  • Preliminary findings

    • By allowing for search between stores and “trip chaining,” we can explain 166% more of shoppers’ spending behavior than travel distance alone.

    • Together, all retail location variables explain a substantial amount of shoppers’ spending (17.3%).

  • Retail location findings

    • Supermarkets lose revenues by locating near warehouse clubs and drug stores, due to both search and trip chaining.

    • Supermarkets locating near other supermarkets neither lose nor gain revenues uniformly. It appears that some stores benefit and other stores suffer.


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Multi-Store ShoppingCHERRY-PICKING

“Instead of going to the same outlet each week, every week, to complete their grocery shopping, price-conscious consumers often visit more than one store in search of special prices – a bargain-hunting practice known in the industry as ‘cherry-picking.’” (Mogelonsky 1994)

Consumer Reports recommends that smart shoppers “scrutinize the food-day ads and ‘cherry pick’ the specials,” noting that 20% of its readers show little loyalty among supermarkets (Consumer Reports 1988)


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Multi-Store ShoppingCHERRY-PICKING

  • Size of the cherry-picking segment

    • Only 20% of households don’t cherry-pick at all

    • 7% of store visits are made when cherry-picking, so 14% of people visiting a supermarket are cherry-picking.

  • Who cherry-picks?

    • Cherry-picking households are either older (lower cost to cherry-pick) or bigger (higher returns to cherry-picking)

    • Homeownership, stay-at-home spouses and higher incomes all lead to more cherry-picking

  • So what?

    • When shoppers cherry-pick, we found that they buy 25% more items that are on deal and over a third more feature advertised items

We find that cherry-pickers:

  • Save an average of $14 on cherry-picking trips

  • Are more vigilant shoppers, even when they don’t cherry-pick

Source: Fox & Hoch 2005


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Multi-Store ShoppingCHERRY-PICKING

When cherry-picking, do consumers care about being a “smart shopper” and feeling good about themselves, or are they just interested in saving money? (research with Suzanne Shu and John Semple)

  • We find the first evidence of the “smart shopper” phenomenon outside of a laboratory

  • We also find that “smart shoppers” save less than those who care only about savings, but are just as happy


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