The seventh Times Sowetan Retail Awards this year added a vitally important new question to its annual survey: Times Media Group wanted to find out just how influential print media is when it comes to consumers buying goods at specific outlets.
“Newspaper inserts are still used extensively by consumers when looking for special deals and many inserts persuade consumers to try out stores they wouldn’t normally frequent,” says Esmé Deken, head of market intelligence at Times Media.
“Overall, more consumers preferred to receive advertising in newspapers than any other medium and were said to contain the advertising that people looked forward to most,” Deken said.
The survey showed that 80% of consumers found newspaper advertising very relevant, and 48% of consumers were guided by inserts that informed them about special offers and promotions. Inserts were found to provide more value to shoppers and had the highest conversion rate in persuading consumers to purchase at a specific retailer.
The Times Sowetan Retail Awards survey, conducted by TNS South Africa, evaluated 20 categories, from groceries, furniture and appliances to clothing, cellphone and jewellery stores to see who’s most successfully getting customers into their shops, and spending their hard-earned money.
“The Times Sowetan Retail and Shopper survey is a valuable tool for marketers to gain insight into the mind of the consumer, their behaviour and how to effectively connect with them,” says Trevor Ormerod, general manager of group sales at TMG. “Print advertising remains a key investment to not only broaden consumer reach but also to convert potential customers into buyers.”
So who were the winners?
Shoprite continued its legacy as the top retailer in South Africa for the sixth consecutive year claiming the Overall Grand Prix. Pick n Pay, still rivalling its red and yellow opponent, retained its second position and Clicks remained steadfast in third.
Pepcell aced the Telecoms sector, moving ahead of cellular network rivals MTN Store and Vodacom Shop, which now sits in second and third place. In the ‘Appliance Stores’ category, Game retained its first position with Shoprite in second place up from fifth and Clicks in third.
In the Health & Beauty sector, Clicks and Dis-Chem held first and second place respectively and The Body Shop showed an impressive jump into third position up from seventh in 2013.
With the rise of e-commerce and the ‘modern-day shopper’, the Online Retail category as well as pharmacies was introduced to the survey this year.
PicknPay.co.za was the most popular online store with Woolworths.co.za a close second and Kalahari.com in third. Clicks was ranked the top shop for medical supplies in the Pharmacies sector and Shoprite’s Medirite claimed second place with Dis-Chem third.
In the Shoe Stores category two new entries, Edgars and Woolworths, claimed first and second place respectively. Premium footwear brand, Spitz, the former leading retailer in its category, got knocked down into third place.
While Musica remained the top shop in the Entertainment Stores category, TOP CD made a break-through to second place up from fifth and moved Shoprite down into third.
Cashbuild cemented itself in first position for most popular Hardware Store followed by Build It in second, and Mica leaped into third from fifth position last year.
Totalsports remained at the forefront in the Sports and Outdoor category while new-comer to the category, Sportscene, claimed second place from Mr Price Sports which was edged into third.
Grocery Stores winners were taken from the recent Sunday Times Top Brands Survey (due to larger sampling) marking Shoprite as the leading retailer followed by Pick n Pay in second and Spar in third.
IMAGE: PicknPay.co.za / winner online shopping category
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