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Britain is a Nation of Free Range Shoppers

Martina Mercer
April03/ 2014

The rise of the so-called budget supermarkets, particularly Aldi and Lidl, has disrupted the supermarket ecosystem and more than ever highlighted the importance of understanding the changing shopping behaviour and habits of the British public.

With an explosion of choice of convenience stores, cheaper grocery shops and supermarket price wars, leading consumer rewards app, Shopitize, has identified a new breed of shopper, coined the ‘Free Range Shopper’. Indiscriminate and supermarket-neutral, these shoppers are the manifestation of the metamorphosis of a growing shopping phenomenon.

  • The Free Range shopper is not loyal to a specific supermarket or supermarket chain.
  • The free range shopper shops at their convenience, they are value sensitive and brand agnostic, easily able to switch brand allegiance for any number of reasons, including price, in-store promotions or because of the effects of advertising.
  • The Free Range shopper has no qualms with shopping for line caught cod at Waitrose, and then picking up pasta sauce at Aldi.
  • The Free Range Shopper is a savvy shopper, inclined to a bargain, but not controlled by the prospect.

Shopitize occupies a unique position as the only consumer intelligence product that analyses 60,000 real shopping baskets across the big six UK supermarkets. It analyses real receipts uploaded to its database ensuring that its analytics are entirely based on factual shopping evidence. All other consumer intelligence tools in the UK today are hampered by an over-reliance on data from supermarket loyalty cards, or behavioural surveys. The statistics gathered from these efforts present either a limited picture in the case of loyalty cards, or undependable data in the case of surveys.

The insights generated from Shopitize’s data are of immense value to FMCG brands seeking to develop plans and strategies to grow their categories, their share of customers, and ultimately, their multi-channel revenues.

Shopitize measures hundreds of data points across the big six UK supermarkets, enabling their software to show and cross reference the following [non exhaustive list]:

  • Gender of shoppers
  • Age of shoppers
  • Time of day in which shopping is done
  • Categories of products bought at supermarkets
  • Days of the week in which shopping is done
  • Average basket size of shoppers
  • Average value of basket across supermarkets

Please download the full press release (available in .docx format bel0w) to view results from Shopitize’s study into motivations for British shoppers’ choice of supermarkets.


Graham Halling, Commercial Director of Shopitize commented:

“The fall in supermarket loyalty is an inevitable situation brought about by several factors. There has been a proliferation, in recent years of major supermarkets opening convenience stores on high streets, this has also come alongside a decline of the out of town mega stores and the integration of groceries with general merchandise that fuelled their initial rise. Customers are finding it much easier to do their weekly shop on an ad hoc basis, rather than waiting for the weekend and a trip to an aircraft hangar-sized superstore.”

Carl Engelmarc, CEO of Shopitize said:

“Another major factor is the de-stigmatisation of the discount supermarkets, as is evidenced by the strong figures posted by Lidl and Aldi over the Christmas period. More customers are basing their shopping decisions on overall value rather than supermarket loyalty.  At Shopitize we can track and analyse customer shopping behaviour in real time – giving us matchless analytical understanding of what we describe as the “Free Range Shopper”.

“With the rise of the Free Range Shopper, what we’ll see is supermarkets diversifying and increasing their value proposition in an attempt to increase customer loyalty. We are already seeing this with Tesco recently announcing a pizza delivery scheme. We expect the other leading supermarkets to follow suit.”

Graham Halling explores the concept of the Free Range Shopper in more depth on the Shopitize Blog

Martina Mercer

Martina Mercer is an award winning copywriter and digital marketer. She specialises in psychology delivering marketing that identifies consumer profiles and connects customers with brands. As an expert in proximity marketing, Martina is one of the only experienced beacon marketers in the UK highlighting her commitment to developing her skills in an ever changing consumer focused world.