The power of conversion is what set the winners of the 2013 Times Sowetan Retail Awards Survey, conducted by independent research agency TNS, apart from their competition.
This year, the survey parameters were extended to measure the influence of advertising in shaping brand loyalty and shopping habits so as to provide greater insight into what drives South African consumerism.
“The results of The Times Sowetan Retail Awards Survey continue to increase retailers’ insights into their market. Combined with the intelligence we glean on a daily basis as a result of our high circulation, high reach publications, we believe Times Media is in a prime position to offer businesses the most solid and strategic insights around,” says Trevor Ormerod, GM for Advertising Sales and Strategic Communications at Times Media.
Print inserts placed in newspapers were shown to be significant in converting consumers towards making purchases at stores they may previously have been unaware of, or neutral towards.
“With the majority of consumers reading through newspaper inserts, and 36% taking them in-store, retailers have the power to broaden their sphere of influence and attracting new customers by investing in consumer reach,” says Esmé Deken, head of market intelligence at Times Media.
“Overall, newspaper adverts were found to have the greatest value of any medium when planning grocery, clothing, furniture and appliance shopping,” says Deken adding that, “it wouldn’t hurt South African retailers to invest in conversion tactics that will position them favourably with consumers.”
While many of the retailers retained their top positions in the 2013 survey, there were some interesting shifts in consumer activity.
Shoprite maintained its position as the top retailer in South Africa, winning the Overall Grand Prix for the fifth consecutive year. Once again Pick n Pay followed in second place, with Edgars in third. Shoprite also claimed the award for providing the best Overall Customer Experience in the Supermarket & Hypermarket category.
In the Telecoms sector, the MTN Store beat rival cellular network Vodacom Shop to secure first place. Menlyn Park Shopping Centre earned top spot as the favourite Gauteng Shopping Mall and was awarded Top Shopping Centre nationwide as well.
In the luxury purchase categories, American Swiss claimed first place among the jewellery retailers out-shining Sterns. Hi Fi Corp moved into first place in the Electronic, Computer and Gadget category for the first time while Musica took top spot in the Entertainment category.
Sheet Street trumped major retailer Mr Price Home in the Home Accessory and Décor category pushing them down to third position. Woolworths shifted up into second place.
In the specialist furniture store category, Geen & Richards retained their first position, followed by Morkels who climbed from 3rd place last year. House & Home, previously in 9th position, took a giant leap into third spot in 2013.