Most supermarket shoppers see price guarantees and brand match schemes as cheap gimmicks - and don’t take any notice of them when deciding where to shop, reveals exclusive research for The Grocer.
In a survey of more than 4,000 shoppers by customer experience specialist Market Force, 82% said price promises had no influence at all over which supermarket they shopped in.
Almost half said brand match schemes were “just a marketing tactic”, while 44% did not believe they could save money using any of the schemes offered by Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Waitrose. A further 76% said Asda’s 10% Price Guarantee was “too much hassle”.
Asda revealed last month that 600,000 shoppers were using APG every week - just 3% of its reported weekly total of 18 million shoppers. In response, Asda said its “unbeatable” APG was being used by 25% more shoppers than last year.
Market Force marketing manager Simon Boydell said the flood of different mechanics was confusing customers. “Shoppers are not clear on what a genuine deal is any more, which is leading to a confused and reticent consumer base questioning whether the various price promises are just a gimmick to get them into stores with no justification at the end of it,” he said.
Highlighting their desire for less complexity, when shoppers were asked for their favourite promotion, 55% said bogofs. And although the survey suggested the central message of APG was getting through, with 57% of respondents saying they believed Asda was the cheapest supermarket, Boydell said that didn’t necessarily translate into footfall.
“If 82% of shoppers won’t visit a supermarket because of a price promise, then how effective are they in reality?” he said. “That must be a concern, because if supermarkets and suppliers are investing huge amounts and consumers don’t feel they’re getting a good deal, then no-one is winning.”
Sainsbury’s director of loyalty and insight Andrew Mann said: “Customers love Brand Match as it reinforces how competitive we are on price.
“Since its launch, the number of customers who agree Sainsbury’s sells brands at the same price as other supermarkets has grown from 68% to 80%. They know it isn’t a marketing tactic and love that they receive their coupons instantly at the till.”
A spokeswoman for Waitrose said: “Our customers tell us they understand our commitment to match Tesco branded prices.” Tesco declined to comment.
Click here for the full results of the survey