As we first outlined in mid-May, in certain categories, more shoppers that switch brands are doing so in order to treat themselves to a premium brand rather than to save money. We decided to see how this dynamic played out across 12 different health & beauty categories, ranging from shampoo & conditioner to natural skin care products. What we learned from polling our Shopper Army community was:
- On average across the categories about ¼ of shoppers had recently purchased a brand different than what they typically do. Among Canadian shoppers, it ranged between 20 – 40% by category, so there has been a lot of brand switching happening.
- The primary reason given was to treat themselves to a more premium brand. Among Canadian brand switchers, this was selected 45% of the time on average, and ranged as high as 66% for natural skin care products. In contrast, switching to save money was ranked #2, being selected 24% of the time. Preferred brand being out of stock was selected 15% of the time.
- Canadian shoppers are “trading up” more than Americans. On average across the categories, Canadian shoppers indicated “trading up” was their reason for switching 6% more often than Americans – and this gap ranged as high as 20% for lip colour. But “trading up” was also the #1 reason in the U.S. as well.
As so much attention has been paid to the ongoing economic fall-out of our collective response to the COVID-19 epidemic, it’s natural for many marketers to be thinking about discounting as a key tactic for increasing market share – particularly in categories where sales slowed over recent months, such as a variety of cosmetics categories. But as this data indicates, in many categories there is a great opportunity for premium brands to attract new customers looking to treat themselves – with 7 to 18% of shoppers in each of the 12 categories we looked at having recently bought a different brand than normal for just that reason. And with so many shoppers looking for little indulgences right now, it could be a great time to launch a new product – even if it has to be done a little differently than before.
If you are a marketer that would like to learn more about the specific data for your category, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org– we may have recently included it, and if not it could be a candidate for one of our upcoming weekly surveys.
Note: the categories included in this analysis were: anti-aging skin care products, body lotion, body wash, foundation, hair root touch-up, lip colour, mascara, nail polish, natural cosmetics, natural skin care products, sensitive skin care products, shampoo & conditioner.