Survey: Walmart Shoppers Indicate that "Everyday Low Prices" is Extremely Important, but Cross-shopping is Still Prevalent

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A recent consumer perception study conducted by leading marketing research firm ClickIQ found that about 80% of Walmart shoppers are either "extremely" or "very" familiar with the retailer’s philosophy of “everyday low prices” and a full 90% of them say it is “extremely” or “very” important to them, yet more than half cross-shop other retailers to get the best prices.

Every Day Low Price!
54% stated that they would go to more than one store to get the best prices on grocery items and 48% would check out multiple stores to get the best prices on household goods.

Of the 888 survey respondents who had shopped Walmart for groceries and household goods in the past month, 54% stated that they would go to more than one store to get the best prices on grocery items and 48% would check out multiple stores to get the best prices on household goods. These consumers indicated that within the past month a full 61% had also shopped for groceries and household items at other grocery stores. 39% had shopped at Target for these items, 37% at dollar stores, 35% at drug stores, 26% at Sam’s Club and 23% at Kroger. When asked where they purchase groceries and household goods most often however, Walmart registered a plurality of 46%, with "other grocery stores" second at 26%.

The survey asked respondents to rank on a five point importance scale various factors regarding retailers of groceries and household goods. The number one factor rated "extremely important" was "Everyday Low Prices" at 64%. Coming in second was a somewhat surprising result of "Cleanliness” at 48%, while more predictably "Sales and Promotions" was just behind at 46%. A “Convenient Location" was fourth highest at 41%.

To gain a deeper understanding of the consumer’s price perception of Walmart regarding having the lowest price every day, the study asked respondents the price of several common grocery and household items. Once the obvious outliers were removed, the respondents average unaided price answers were quite close to the current retail prices at Walmart. Items like Mott's Apple Sauce, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Windex Window Cleaner, Charmin Toilet Paper and Colgate Toothpaste were all within $0.10 of the actual shelf price. Respondents were farther off the mark on Milk, Frozen Pizza, Jif Peanut Butter and Glad Kitchen Trash Bags among others. Respondents were then asked if they thought Walmart has the lowest price on each of these items. In general, twice the number of respondents indicated they believe Walmart has the best price on each item as those who did not (amongst those who were familiar with the items).

To determine what impact a few pennies difference in price would have, shoppers were asked if they would notice if the price on their favorite cereal at Walmart changed from $2.97 to $2.93. Only about one third stated they would likely notice.

The net result seems to be that although getting the best price and the “everyday low prices” philosophy are extremely important to those who shop Walmart, the impact of a few pennies on a single item are likely beneath the awareness of most shoppers. The relatively high degree of cross-shopping would seem to be at least partially a product of clean, convenient, local grocery stores and other national retailers that offer large, frequent sales and special promotions.

Data was collected in an online survey with 888 of ClickIQ’s US consumer panel from April 27, 2012 through May 2, 2012. Target respondents must have shopped for groceries or household goods at a Walmart store within the past month. The survey results have margin of error of +/-5% at a 95% confidence level.

About ClickIQ
ClickIQ, Inc., based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is an award-winning market research firm that employs fully integrated online management tools, a proprietary consumer panel, and skilled market research analysts to deliver quantitative consumer and shopper insights to some of the best known and most respected companies across the U.S.

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Robert Boese
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