Australians browsing more in bottle shops for specials but then spend more anyway

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 6th January 2014

Just over one in two (52 per cent) of Australians said they “enjoy having a good look around liquor stores”, up from 47 per cent in 2009, according to new findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.

Roy Morgan Research said these shoppers are a “high value and important market” for liquor retailers. The browsing consumers are inclined to source specials but are less thrifty than those who just want to get in and out. In an average seven day period, alcohol buyers who enjoyed browsing for alcohol spent an average of around $65 — over $9 a week more than those who did not browse.

Happy browsers were also 16 per cent more likely than non-browsers to make three or more liquor store visits per month, and 74 per cent more likely to visit three or more different stores.

When it came to price attitudes, compared with those who did not enjoy have have a look around, browsing consumers were:

  • 38% more likely to buy brands on special, and

  • 20% more likely to shop where there are good specials, but

  • 25% less likely to try to spend as little as possible

Bottle shop browsers were three times as likely as non-browsers to say it was important that a liquor store was “a fun and entertaining place to shop”, 78 per cent more likely to want a good range and/or staff with good product knowledge, and 73 per cent more likely to place importance on bulk purchasing options.

“In the liquor retail industry, it is clear that some people are drawn to specials for reasons other than just price,” said Geoffrey Smith, General Manager Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research. “Many alcohol shoppers enjoy browsing, checking out new and different bottles or brands and talking to knowledgeable staff — and sourcing discounts, whether on individual bottles or bulk purchases, is just another pleasurable part of the experience,” he said.

Store preferences

Roy Morgan Research said almost two-thirds of ‘happy browsers’ said Dan Murphy’s was one of the best liquor stores, but a higher proportion of people who liked Vintage Cellars or 1st Choice enjoyed browsing.

“However, it’s the medley of booze in Costco’s warehouses that appeals most particularly to browsers,” Mr Smith said. “The combination of ‘specials’ (but without necessarily being cheap) and new brands means almost three in four people who put Costco as a preferred store also enjoy having a good look around,” he said.

Australians are browsing more in bottle shops