Time Shoppers Spend At Different Shelves Is Revealed
Customers linger longest at hair care, skin care and baby care shelves, spending almost a minute on average deciding. Milk, paper towels and tissues are the easiest picks, taking just 14 to 17 seconds on average.
Researchers armed with stop watches tracked 64,500 customers at supermarkets. Older shoppers were the slowest, potentially because they had more time on their hands. The study also found we devote as much time choosing for pets as partners, and take almost twice as long pondering purchases for dinner guests and friends compared with family.
Shopperpedia CEO Steve Andrews said browse times varied depending on brand and price recognition, purchase frequency, planned versus impulse buys, and information on packaging.
“Categories with very strong brands have shorter times because people can look for a familiar pack,” he said. “Milk is a routine buy, whereas air freshener is bought irregularly so they can’t recall what they bought last time. Interest also has an effect. Shoppers are more excited about confectionery and really enjoy spending time purchasing compared with a boring routine purchase. With skin care, time is spent reading information on packs, making sure it meets their needs.”
Mr Andrews said there was a delicate balance between overwhelming consumers with choice and eliminating too many favourites.
On a shopping run in South Melbourne yesterday, Sarah Vogelsberger picked up a generic-brand soda water without much consideration, but mulled over aioli. “I haven’t bought aioli in a long time so I want to see what my options are,” she said. The 22-year-old carefully compares product unit prices when buying in bulk. “I definitely look as I am young and trying to stick to a budget.” She also spends more time considering hair care products than essentials such as bread.
AVERAGE DWELL TIME IN SECONDS
Milk 14.7 / Paper towels 15.5 / Facial tissue 17.4 / Dishwashing 20.5 / Toilet tissue 21.2 / Canned vegetables 23.0 / Yellow chilled spreads 23.7 / Canned fruit 26.6 / Frozen vegetables 27.2 / Spreads 27.5 / Pasta sauce 27.9 / Bread 29.0 / Crisps/chips 29.3 / Canned fish 29.5 / Fruit juice 31.4 / Coffee 32.8 / Muesli/cereal bars 33.8 / Laundry care 34.2 / Cereal 34.4 / Cheese 34.8 / Medicinal 36.0 / Smallgoods 36.7 / Ice cream 38.3 / Oral care 38.7 / Soup 41.2 / Biscuits 42.1 / Household cleaning 43.2 / Dog food 43.5 / Confectionery 45.0 / Air care 45.2 / Pet care 47.4 / Frozen meals 48.5 / Cat food 49.5 / Baby care 50.9 / Skin care 52.9 / Hair care 56.2
(Source: Herald Sun)