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Nearly a fifth of consumers have switched supermarkets over the past two years predominantly for cost reasons, a study of more than 2,000 adults has found.

As many as 18% of consumers have switched supermarkets over that time frame and 56% of those did so to cut costs, found a YouGov survey of 2,044 adults commissioned by technology business management company Apptio. Customer service was the second-most important consideration, named by 14% of switchers.

Shoppers in the south of England were the most driven by cost, with 63% having switched for price reasons, compared with 56% and 51% in the north and the Midlands.

The survey also found the majority of consumers were not digitally engaged with their supermarkets. Despite all major supermarkets offering a mobile app, only a third (32%) of smartphone users reported having a retail app on their phone, compared with 59% who had banking apps.

And just 14% of UK consumers perceived the retail industry to be digitally innovative, compared with 24% for the banking industry.

But Apptio CEO Sunny Gupta said cost was more important to consumers than technology in the retail space. “While new technologies can be transformative for companies, they can also unwittingly bloat an organisation over time, resulting in cost inefficiencies. Combined with a pressure to innovate and compete, supermarkets and other retailers will need to have a close handle on actual costs and a clear picture of their forecasted investments, such as technology, to identify where the hidden savings can be found,” he said.