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    New survey sheds light on consumer loyalty

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    Stores have emerged as the winners in the brand loyalty debate as a good share of Brits said they would switch brands and not the store in case of store-brand conflict.

    According to a YouGov survey, nearly half of UK adults (48 per cent) stated that they would switch to a different brand within the same supermarket, suggesting for a significant portion of consumers, either loyalty lies more with the store than the specific product, or convenience trumps brand loyalty.

    On the flip side, 33 per cent of respondents said that they would purchase the same discontinued product from a different supermarket, suggesting that, for many, being able to buy their preferred brand is non-negotiable.

    Surprisingly, just 7 per cent of participants assert that they would stop purchasing the discontinued product altogether. Additionally, 13 per cent of respondents expressed uncertainty about their course of action.

    Looking at broader economic considerations, the survey examined the likelihood of shoppers switching supermarkets if the average spend at their primary store increased by 10 per cent or more.

    Two-thirds of respondents (67 per cent) claimed that they would be either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to switch retailers, while 27 per cent expressed an inclination to remain with their current supermarket despite the increased costs. YouGov noted this suggests that while price sensitivity is a critical factor, other factors such as convenience, location, or service quality continue to play pivotal roles in shaping consumer decisions.

    As supermarkets grapple with the challenge of discontinuing products due to rising prices, the survey also explored potential mitigating strategies. When asked about the most useful incentives to purchase from supermarkets that decide to discontinue a product, 59 per cent of respondents favour lower-cost alternatives, emphasising the importance of affordability in consumer decision-making.

    Discounted products emerge as a secondary preference, but at a significantly lower rate, with 15 per cent of respondents considering them the most useful incentive. Loyalty programme incentives also hold some sway, with 14 per cent expressing a preference for such rewards.

    YouGov concluded that while price sensitivity is evident, brand loyalty and a willingness to explore alternative products within the same supermarket underscore the complexity of factors influencing consumer decisions. It suggests that supermarkets aiming to navigate the delicate balance between maintaining profitability and satisfying customer expectations should consider a nuanced approach that combines affordability, incentives, and effective communication.

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