What’s new May-June 2012


How Children Change Your Shopping

There are events in life where everything changes, one of these milestones is having children.

As children grow, they influence their parents in many ways including how they shop to cater for maturing tastes and needs.

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With the 2012 Lifestage Benchmark reports we have three separate family lifestages, being divided up by the age of the children who live at home. Young Families have children aged under 15 years, while Families with Older Children have children aged between 15 years and 24 years, and finally Families with Independent Children have children aged 25 years and over still living at home. By comparing these, we can see how shopping and spending patterns change as children age.

For Young Families, 36% of their total is currently in paid employment, and there is a nearly even split between part time employment and full time employment for the remainder. While shopping, 59% would purchase food or grocery items, with 44% stating either top up or main grocery/food/liquor shopping was their main reason for visiting the centre. While in the centre, they would stay for 61 minutes and they spend an average of $91 while shopping. They shop in an average group size of 1.59 people, while their average household size is 4.23.

Families with Older Children are a more time poor lifestage, with only 24% not in paid employment, either full time or part time. 45% visit a centre specifically for top up groceries or main grocery shopping, although 64% end up purchasing from this category. The average household size for this lifestage is 3.88 people, but they shop in a group size of 1.23 on average. They stay in centre for 62 minutes, and have an average spend of $93.

Families with Independent Children are less likely to have more of their time taken up by paid employment, with 50% not in paid employment, and the remaining 50% being split between full time and part time work. 47% shop specifically for groceries, either as a top-up or for their main grocery shopping trip, but 66% purchase from this category while in centre. They stay for 65 minutes and have an average spend of $84. Families with Independent Children have an average household size of 3.31 people, and shop in a group of 1.24 people.

There are some obvious differences in the demographics and shopping patterns of these three lifestages. Families with independent children are less likely to be in paid employment than Young Families, but it is Families with Older Children who are most likely to be employed either part time or full time. While the proportion visiting a centre specifically for grocery shopping – either main grocery shopping or just to top up – is fairly similar, it is Families with Independent Children who are most likely to be visiting for this reason, and also most likely to purchase from this category while in centre.

In addition, while Young Families and Families with Older Children spend a similar amount of time in centre, Families with Independent Children spend the longest at 65 minutes. But, conversely, they also have the lowest average spend of only $84 compared to $93 by Families with Older Children and $91 by Young Families. And finally, as the children get older, it seems average family sizes decreases, from 4.23 for Young Families, down to 3.88 for Families with Older Children, then down to 3.31 for Families with Independent children. But while the latter two have similar shopping group sizes of 1.23 and 1.24 respectively, Young Families often have to bring children along, increasing the average shopping group size to 1.59.

To learn more about these lifestages, or any of the other lifestages studied here at Directional Insights, why not consider ordering some copies of our Lifestage Benchmark Report Series?

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Australia’s Shopping Intent for 2012

AMP Capital Shopping Centre’s latest Shopping Intent report has been released.

The Australian Shopping Intent report is a joint project between AMPCSC, Directional Insights and Sefiani’s to discover the current sentiment around Australia towards shopping. Originally started back in February 2009, the ASI report is a snapshot of how potential customers across Australia feel towards shopping with a number of baseline constant questions. Then in every report, a few further, topical questions are asked about important developments in shopping within Australia.

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There have been seven ASI reports since they were originally started back in 2009, one every six months. In every report we have asked respondents if they have been spending more, the same, or less in a variety of areas of shopping, ranging from groceries, to different types of apparel (from everyday casual clothing to high end fashion), to electronics and home entertainment. In addition, we also ask if they believe Australians will be spending more or less on these same areas in the future.
As well as this, for the last few ASI reports we have begun asking if people are spending on certain categories in physical stores only, in online stores only, or in a mixture of the two. In addition, within the most recent ASI report, we also asked the question, what sort of marketing respondents believed influenced their purchasing decisions.

So, the question that remains is how are Australians shopping differently?

The results have been quite consistent with previous results. While there has been a reduction in spend on local Australian holidays, there has been an increase in overseas holidays and gift spending. The proportion of Australian shoppers spending less has not increased in any of the spend categories tested, with only minor changes in most results over time.

How about what categories Australians believe spend will increase in? The following areas receiving the highest proportion of Australians believing spend would improve:

– Take home food and groceries
– Alcohol for home consumption
– Technology purchases like mobile phones, computers, and gaming consoles.
– Inexpensive everyday fashion
– Lotto, Lottery Tickets.

If you would like to learn more about the results of the ASI report’s results, have a look at our other articles on the topic, discussing the divide between traditional media and digital media, and the purchasing habits of Australians in regards to Physical stores compared to Online stores.

For more information about the AMP Capital Shopping Centre’s Shopping Intent Report, contact Sonia Clarke at Sefiani, at sclarke@sefiani.com.au.

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The Teenager’s Shopping Life

I would like you to pretend something for a moment.

You are part of the 6% of shoppers at your shopping centre who are in their teenage lifestage.

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You are 17 years old, most likely a student.  If you are working it is likely to be in sales.

Unlike the rest of the shoppers you probably didn’t drive to the centre, but you may have been driven, walked, or taken the bus.

After entering the centre you have two destinations in mind, either a clothing store or food court.

While other shoppers may want to visit something mundane like Coles or Woolworths, you’re not at the centre for that, you have your own agenda. And you do have an agenda.

While you and your peers are more likely than normal to be just shopping for the sake of shopping – as a leisure activity – you are still more likely to be there on a mission than just for the sake of it. Of course, that’s not to say one of your main reasons for visiting is to pick up groceries, but it is less likely to be your main reason as it is for everyone else in the centre.

You’re more likely to be there for clothes, a meal, snack or drink, or perhaps just to browse.

About a quarter of the time you may pick up food or groceries.

And how much do you spend?

Understandably, you spend less than the average shopper, making up only 3% of the total spend, and your average spend is only about $35 compared to the standard of $72.

That’s not to say your dollars should be ignored, you spend above your weight when it comes to food catering, making up 7% of the total spend, and similarly you make up 5% of apparel spend.

While people may try to describe you and your friends as being constantly online.  The truth is that you are not yet a prominent online shopper, shopping online about as often as anyone else does, and much less than some lifestages. Of course this may only be because you do not yet have a credit card and that means you find yourself relying on the shopping centre for your purchases.  Unsurprisingly, the most preferred form of marketing you pay attention to is television.

What drew you to this shopping centre? We know what you’re shopping for, but what exactly do you want when you shop?

Variety and value are your key needs. You want things to be good value for money, but you want a lot of different stores. You are far less concerned with the fresh food or services a centre offers, not to mention the ease of parking. And, while not your key needs, you are more interested than the average Australian shopper in the eating establishments and the fashion stores the centre has.

All of these insights, and more, can be found by reading the Directional Insights 2012 Lifestage Benchmark series report on Teenagers. Want to know more about teenagers, or about any other lifestage?

For more information on the lifestage benchmark series or to order your copy click here.

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ASI Results 2012:  Traditional Media Main Influence in Purchasing

In modern marketing there are a lot of buzzwords about the digital revolution. Companies often have social media experts who have responsibility for facebook pages, maintaining online presences for the company, and other digital marketing efforts that do not even touch on basic website maintenance.

So in the most recent AMP Capital Shopping Centres Australian Shopping Intent Report, the question was asked: “What sort of marketing most informs your purchasing decisions?”

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While this is not a perfect question, since it relies upon people being fully aware of the influence marketing is having upon them, the results are very interesting to see.

The options included everything ranging from traditional media such as television, radio and catalogues, all the way to the latest digital media such as Google Plus and the wide variety of websites available.

The most frequently listed form of marketing that Australians believe impacted their purchasing decisions was Colour Catalogues, at 37%. This old school traditional form of media has been around for decades, and in the current cautious retail environment delivers news of specials and sales right to the doorstep of the shopper.

The second most listed form of marketing was Television at 34%, and as one of the most prominent forms of media in the Australian household, it is little surprise this is so frequently listed. This was followed by Letter Box Drop, another old form of traditional media that informs the receiver of the media of sales and specials directly marketed at them.

It is only after this, down at 24% (two thirds the result of the highest form of traditional media) came the first form of digital media, being Search Engines at 24%. In fact, Search Engines, the ubiquitous interface between the customer and the entirety of the Internet, is the only form of digital marketing that was listed as an influencing factor in purchasing decisions by more than 20% of Australians.

This trend repeats itself throughout the results. Although there is a solid proportion of Australians who are influenced by digital media when making purchasing decisions, it seems the overall trend leans towards the traditional media forms we are comfortable with. Nowhere is this more prevalent than with Facebook, with only 8% of Australians listing it as a form of media that influences their purchasing.

Of course, there is a heavy impact upon the results when viewed by age, with cases such as 25% of Australians 18-24 listing Facebook as a form of media that influences their purchasing decisions, although even this age group were more likely to consider forms of traditional media such as television and colour catalogues more likely to influence their purchasing decisions, at 28% each.

This suggests that traditional media is still the dominant force when it comes to retail marketing, with digital media being second place of the two. However, digital media is still a viable option, and will only continue to grow as the current youth reach their maturity.

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The Buzz

New Faces at DI

In our continuous effort to ensure you get the best possible results for your research, here at Directional Insights we have brought some new people in to the team. For that, we would like to present to you:

Katinka Moran is our newest Research Executive. She enters Directional Insights with over 15 years of experience in qualitative and quantitative research, on both the client and supplier side.

Tony Chen is one of our new Research Assistants. Tony is a recent graduate of Macquarie University with a Masters of Actuarial Practice.

In addition we also have Helen Siuki coming on board as a research assistant. She is joining us with five years experience in market research, with qualifications in statistics and business administration.

Isabella Johnston also joins us as a new Office Manager, assisting with the day to day.

These new members of staff look forward to working with you to ensure all your needs are provided for, with the high quality of research you have come to expect from Directional Insights.

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What Has Online Instore – Australia’s Shopping Intent

In the most recent AMP Capital Shopping Centres Shopping Intent Report, we again asked a question that we at Directional Insights have found fascinating. What impact is the availability of online retail having on people’s shopping?

While there are already a plethora of figures about the dollar value people are sending towards each, it is good to keep in mind people’s intentions with shopping, as discovered through the ASI report. This, along with our prior experience in retail, gives Directional Insights a solid understanding of where the physical and the online stores conflict, and where they mesh together.

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Australians were asked if they purchased a wide variety of spend categories from either physical stores only, from a mixture of physical and online stores, from online stores only, or not at all?

In nearly all categories, the proportion of Australians purchasing online only remained steady compared to the results from the July 2011 AMP Capital Shopping Centres Australian Shopping Intent Report. The only real exception to this coming from Local Australian Holidays, which had a small decline from 33% in July 2011, down to 30% in February 2012.

Most changes that did happen occurred in slight shifts, from Australians purchasing from physical stores only, to Australians purchasing from a mixture of physical stores and online.

This shows that online retail is not replacing the physical store as some pessimistic predictions may have claimed. Instead the online store has augmented the physical store, supplementing the in-store experience rather than supplanting it.

What does this mean, to be augmenting the physical retail store? It means while the online retail experience has its strengths over the shopping centre, so too does it have its weaknesses that the physical retail experience does not share. When browsing, in store you can stroll up and down the aisles of the shop, eyes wandering over the products, picking out the one that interests you and examining it closer. Yes, the online store has a wide variety of products from all over the world, but the physical store has those products right here, right now, you can pick them up and feel them, you know exactly what you are looking at.

So what categories show the more surprising changes when it comes to Australians purchasing from in-store only, online only, or a combination of both?

Take home food and groceries shows a slow slide, with a decrease from 84% in July 2011 purchasing from physical stores only, down to 80% in February 2012. This is coupled with the proportion of Australians purchasing from a mixture increasing from 10% in July 2011 up to 15% in the current results.

There is a similar shift in inexpensive everyday fashion, going from 65% purchasing this category from physical stores only in July 2011, down to 60% in February 2012. Once more this is linked with an increase in Australians purchasing from a mixture, up from 11% in July 2011 to 15% currently. While there is a growth in inexpensive everyday fashion being bought online, it is in addition to purchasing from the physical store.

A few other areas with similar shifts include household goods, technology purchases, home entertainment, and general items like books, toys and music. These categories all represent areas of spend where the tactile sensation, the ability to inspect the product before purchasing, is not as important.

In short, the results suggest that there are areas where Australians understand the necessity of the physical interaction with the product they purchase and spending online is to supplement their purchases from the physical store, not to replace it.

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NOTE:This is general information only and does not constitute advice nor take into account any individual’s or company’s specific requirements, and should not be relied upon as such. Readers are advised to seek specific advice. Directional Insights makes no representation nor gives any warranty as to the accuracy of future forecasts. This information is not intended as investment advice or other advice and must not be relied upon as such. You should make your own inquiries and take independent advice tailored to your specific circumstances prior to making any investment or other decision. To the fullest extent permitted by law, any conditions, warranties or liabilities implied by law into these conditions are hereby excluded. All copyright resides with Directional Insights Pty Ltd.

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