Thanks to the latest report by the technology company Proxi.cloud and the UCE Research analytical and research platform, we know what grocery shopping looked like before the last Christmas. The situation was compared with the corresponding periods of 2019-2020. Through the so-called data on the behavior of over one million consumers was collected. Their visits to over 7,000 stores from 1 to 24 December of each analyzed year.
– In 2021, there was a visible rebound compared to 2020. Grocery retail chains recorded a 9.2% y / y. higher traffic, and also gained 2.8 percent. more customers year on year. However, there is still a long way to go to return to pre-pandemic levels. In the last pre-Christmas period, large-scale food establishments recorded 23.9 percent. less traffic than in 2019, and the number of unique customers decreased by 29.6 percent. – comments Adam Grochowski from Proxi.cloud.
However, when comparing the data from the end of 2021 with the corresponding period of 2019, it can be seen that each format saw greater drops in its customer base than in traffic. As Mateusz Chołuj from Proxi.cloud emphasizes, only one person makes purchases in a given household to a much greater extent. However, each client visited stores during this period by an average of 8%. more often than 2 years earlier, despite the ongoing pandemic.
– Comparing the latest data with those from 2020, we notice a higher dynamics of traffic growth than the customer base. This confirms our belief that this trend will stay with us for longer. This is especially important for FMCG producers, because decisions about the selection of brands for the entire farm depend to a large extent on the designated buyer – emphasizes Adam Grochowski.
The authors of the report also point to the continuing trend of more frequent consumers choosing discount stores at the expense of stores of other formats. Recently, the share of hypermarkets in the total traffic amounted to 15.7%, in 2020 – 17.2%, and in 2019 – 16.9%. In turn, discounters, with the result of 61.9%, gained 2.1 pp. compared to 2020 and 3.6 pp. compared to 2019. On the other hand, the largest decrease in two years was recorded by supermarkets – by 2.4 pp. According to experts from UCE Research, this result hurts twice, because the total traffic has decreased by 23.9% since 2019.
– Increased traffic in grocery stores is noticeable 2 weeks before Christmas. It is for producers that there should be a period of intensified activation and communication activities. However, last year Poles began to do their Christmas shopping to a greater extent at the last minute. The traffic in stores 6 days before Christmas Eve grew by 13.9 percent. year on year, while for the entire pre-Christmas period it was 9.2 percent. – adds Mateusz Chołuj.
The formats under the magnifying glass
At the end of 2021 Discount stores recorded by almost 13 percent. more traffic than in 2020. In addition, they had almost 10 percent. more buyers year on year. However, last year’s data mean drops compared to 2019, by 19.2 percent respectively. and 21.9 percent Recently, as much as 52 percent. customers of these outlets shopped there more than twice a week. In turn, 28 percent. shopped there on average once a week and less frequently. In December last year the average time of visiting the discount store was 19 minutes 45 seconds, so it was shorter than in 2020 (20 minutes 23 seconds), and also longer than in 2019 (19 minutes 26 seconds).
– Discounters are still far short of the 2019 level in terms of traffic or the size of the customer base. However, there are many indications that the situation is slowly returning to normal. Poles make smaller purchases there more frequently, as was the case before the pandemic. FMCG producers can therefore count on a higher footfall, and therefore there are also more opportunities to convert a discount customer – says Adam Grochowski.
In turn, supermarkets will consider last year’s pre-Christmas period to be much less successful, as emphasized by Mateusz Chołuj. Admittedly, they recorded 6.4 percent. more traffic compared to 2020, but their customer base shrank by 10.8 percent. However, when comparing last year’s data with those from 2019, you can see that it is 31.1 percent lower. footfall. The number of unique customers dropped by 38 percent.
– The average duration of a visit to a supermarket during the holiday season has hardly changed from year to year. Recently, it was 18 min 39 s, which is 3 s shorter than in 2020. However, compared to 2019, it decreased by 1 min 8 s, which was probably largely due to less movement. This probably translated into a shorter waiting time at the checkout. Regular customers have become attached to supermarkets. Their share in the entire customer base increased year on year by 6 pp. – in 2020 it was 27 percent, and a year later – 33 percent. On average, one customer has recently visited supermarkets more often by as much as 19.3%. than in 2020. Compared to 2019, there was an increase in this respect by 11.1%. – analyzes Adam Grochowski.
The last pre-holiday period brought hypermarkets 6.5 percent more. customer base compared to 2020 However, the traffic remained at the same level year on year. Data collected at the end of last year show significant drops compared to the corresponding period of 2019. Visits to stores were reduced by as much as 29.4 percent, and customers – by 32.5 percent. The average length of stay in such a facility has decreased from year to year. At the end of 2019, it was 29 minutes 46 seconds, a year later – 28 minutes 16 seconds, and recently – 27 minutes 27 seconds.
– The decrease in the average time of visits to hypermarkets does not mean that shopping baskets have decreased. This has to be compared with other statistics, above-average increased traffic during the week until Christmas Eve and a decrease in the average number of visits per client. So there is a good chance that consumers went to hypermarkets to a greater extent than in previous years to replenish their Christmas basket – sums up Mateusz Chołuj.