Canadians more price conscious than brand loyal

Mintel report shows the importance of reaching consumers with a budget-conscious message while they are shopping.

According to a new report from Mintel, Canadians are willing to forgo their brand loyalty for a good deal. But they will rarely stay on top of searching for ways to get the best price before every shopping trip, highlighting the importance of in-store messaging.

In the market intelligence firm’s most recent “Budget Shopper Canada” report, 41% of Canadians surveyed say they aren’t brand loyal, with 48% saying they are willing to buy an unfamiliar or generic brand if the price is right. Price was consistently the biggest priority for Canadian shoppers: 39% buy discounted items, 33% compare prices at multiple retailers and 24% buy the lowest-priced items every time they shop.

Further to that, 95% of Canadians say they buy store brands, including 19% who say they do so every time they shop.

While this might be troublesome for the brands competing on store shelves, Carol Wong-Li, senior lifestyles and leisure analyst at Mintel, said this could be a “boon” for retailers selling them.

“Canadian consumers are acting on the sales they see when they are in-store and show a willingness to take the risk of buying an unfamiliar brand if the price is right,” she said. “Combined with reasonable pricing, retailers will likely be able to attract the attention of budget-minded shoppers by creatively finding ways to elevate the components of their private label products – be it product ingredients, materials used to make the item or even improving the visual aspects of the packaging.”

However, Canadians are less likely to do work before their shopping trips to get the best deal in store. Only 14% said they clip coupons, 13% said they search for online promo codes and 12% said they use a couponing app for every shopping trip. Wong-Li said this points to the importance of in-store signage and reaching consumers with a pricing message while they are in the aisles.

“This highlights the importance for retailers to connect with consumers through well-displayed sale or promotion signs, or leveraging technology that alerts customers to sales while they are at the physical location of purchase,” she said.