I was at an event last week where a trade marketing manager spoke about the difference between what retailers think customers want and what customers actually want.
Research they’d done had shown that retailers think that customers are most focused on alcohol prices. They think shoppers are mainly attracted by the lowest possible number, that low-key signpost dragging the customer's eye to the display.
But guess what? Shoppers themselves said that the biggest concern, above all else, was the taste of the product they were buying.
This chimed with numerous conversations I’ve had in the past with retailers fearful of a Tesco opening nearby, saying: “They will drop their prices and I just can’t compete”.
Price featured in a story from the Financial Times around the continued growth of prosecco in the UK. According to figures quoted in the paper, consumption of all sparkling wines – including champagne and cava, but driven by Italy’s finest – is expected to grow by 18.8% to 2020.
Simply put, the stuff is flying off the shelves. If you have an alcohol display and don’t sell prosecco, then you’re making a big error that you should look to rectify pretty quickly, I’d suggest.
The FT story pulled a line from a report by Vinexpo. The study, it said, showed the trend was for better quality wine, and that sales of £5 bottles will fall 4% by 2020.
Sure, shoppers are savvier. But the rise of Lidl and Aldi though is not just about price and it’s crucial to remember that. The quality of their meat and cheese, fresh produce and alcohol, is brilliant.
Prosecco’s rise is an example of this. Champagne is expensive, and prosecco offers a cheaper alternative. But people buy it not just as a cheap replacement, but because it has a taste they want to sample again and again.
Don’t assume your customers just care about alcohol prices. Sure, it’s important. But don’t just go to the lowest common denominator immediately. People won’t buy things they don’t like.