Just over 8 in 10 (83%) adults who shop in both supermarkets and off-licences for alcohol, would choose a supermarket over an off-licence if forced to do so. Recent research on behalf of Retail Intelligence by Empathy Research, amongst a nationally representative sample of 896 off-trade alcohol purchasers, sought to shed light on why consumers choose one over the other.
Reasons for the widespread appeal of supermarkets for alcohol purchases can be found when we look to understand performance in a head-to-head trade-off between supermarkets and off-licences. Supermarkets are significantly ahead on all things price related, almost 8 in 10 (78%) would rate supermarkets ahead on special offers and discounts available, and 3 in 4 (75%) adults would rate supermarkets better than off-licences in relation to bottom line pricing. Accessibility plays a role too, with some 7 in 10 (72%) adults claiming supermarkets hold the upper hand in this regard.
For the off-licenses, their strengths are found in the level of knowledge and customer service imparted by their staff. Almost 7 in 10 (68%) adults would rate off-licences as better than supermarkets in relation to staff knowledge, with almost 6 in 10 (59%) claiming off-licences are better in relation to the ability of their staff to recommend products.
Almost 7 in 10 (69%) of those currently shopping in a supermarket for alcohol, claim that if prices were cheaper in an off-licence they would be more likely to use them in the future. While price may be a difficult battle to win versus supermarkets, a reward/loyalty system may also have an impact, as some 3 in 10 (30%) supermarket shoppers claim a better reward system might entice them to purchase more alcohol from an off-licence instead of a supermarket, with 25-34’s most in favour of this approach.
For more information and analysis relating to this piece of research, including what occasions alcohol is most likely purchased for and how supermarkets vs. off-licences perform head-to-head, please contact Robbie Clarke at Empathy Research.
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