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Small baskets are not just a convenience phenomenon it seems. With more than 60% of grocery shopping baskets in large format stores around the world containing six or fewer items, hypermarkets are increasingly being used as top-up shops, according to a new global report from Dunnhumby.

Dunnhumby studied the behaviour of more than seven million customers across 15 different countries covering North & South America, Europe and Asia, in the two years up to October 2016.

It found a 2.5% year-on-year increase globally in small basket visits taking place in large format stores. While big weekly shopping baskets still accounted for the majority of revenue share in hypermarkets, these missions had declined by 2% globally, across all formats, making the shopping experience for small and medium baskets critical for large-format retailers, it said, as they made up 35% of sales.

Growing urbanisation, smaller households and increasing pressures on consumers’ time were all factors in the rise of small baskets, it added.

But the report said supermarkets could capture a bigger slice of the convenience market by creating ‘stores within a store’, which aids quick and easy purchases. Its recommendations also include ensuring key convenience products are ranged effectively and have strong availability; and such was the importance of the ‘small basket’ trend that store experience should be designed around it, with store layouts featuring speedy checkouts backed up by appropriate resourcing. Understanding the shopping missions that take place at different times of the day was crucial, the report added. Small basket trips are growing at different rates across regions, with 3% year-on-year change in Asia, 7.5% in Europe and 11% in Latin America, the report also found.

“Retailers need to understand how they can better cater for small baskets across all their formats. With so many small missions taking place in larger format stores, layout and range will play a key role in helping customers complete their quick trips,” said Dunhumby senior analyst and report author Akshay Nigam.

“Small baskets are here to stay, and retailers should expect the trend to smaller and more frequent visits to continue the challenge will be to capture every trip and maximise the opportunity to increase basket size for every shopping mission rather than lose those customers to other channels or locations that better meet their needs.”