Convenience or cost? A big range or helpful staff? Well laid out or good specials? Factors such as these can make all the difference to a shopper’s in-store experience, and buying booze is no exception. Roy Morgan explores what matters most to Australian alcohol-shoppers, and discovers that men and women don’t always look for the same qualities in a liquor store.
Last year, 49% of Australian adults (or 8,857,000 people) bought alcohol in an average four-week period. For more than two-thirds (68%) of them, “good value” is one of the factors they consider most important when purchasing alcohol. Being “close to home” also rates quite highly, with 54% of Australian booze-shoppers preferring to purchase from a local bottle shop.
While male and female shoppers tend to feel similarly about these two factors, their priorities vary markedly when it comes to other factors affecting their purchasing experience. For example, among men, a “good range” is a more important quality in a liquor store than being “located where I do other shopping”, but for women, the latter outranks the former.
Most important factors when buying alcohol*: men vs women
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2014 –December 2014 (n=7,192).*NB: These are the 14 most important features of 17 possibilities listed under the question, “Which are the most important to you when purchasing alcohol?”
As the chart above indicates, women have higher expectations overall than men when buying liquor, with a greater proportion considering diverse factors such as helpful and knowledgeable staff, clean and tidy premises and low wine prices important.
However, one thing that matters far more to men than women is the price of beer: 31% of male booze shoppers rate “low beer prices” as important, compared with 17% of female shoppers!
Wine Club customers: a breed apart
A convenient location is all well and good, but for members of wine clubs such as Cellarmasters or the Wine Society, convenience comes in the form of door-to-door delivery. For these people, factors such as being ‘close to home’ and ‘easy to find what I am looking for’ are far less important than for customers of more conventional bottle shops.
A much higher proportion prefers that ‘staff have good product knowledge’ (32% vs 19%), and that their chosen liquor outlet is a ‘good place to shop for wine’ (28% vs 14%). However, wine-club shoppers are just as concerned with good value as the average Australian alcohol buyer (68%).
Angela Smith, Group Account Manager, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“The proportion of the population 18+ who buy alcohol in any given four weeks has fallen slightly year-on-year, from 51% to 49%. Considering that alcohol consumption is declining in Australia, this is not surprising. However, it’s a timely reminder to liquor retailers of how important it is to ensure their store meets the requirements of their customers.
“While good value is the factor most people consider important when shopping for alcohol, a multitude of other factors also influence purchasing behaviour. A convenient location, either close to home or near other shops the customer frequents, is a key consideration, and can actually override the desire for a good price.
“Bottle shops such as Liquorland and Woolworths/Safeway Liquor, which adjoin their associated supermarkets, make shopping for alcohol extremely easy and convenient. With a far greater proportion of women than men being their household’s main grocery buyer, it’s no coincidence that women are more likely to consider it important for a liquor outlet to be ‘located where I do other shopping’.
“Of course, bang for your buck is always going to appeal, and there are still plenty of alcohol buyers willing to travel for the sake of a better price.
“Liquor retailers keen to succeed in this slowly shrinking market need to understand what Australians consider important when shopping for booze, and how different demographics may be swayed by different things…”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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