Nigerian Consumers Highly Price Conscious—Study

Nigerian Consumers Shoppers
Group of african womans weighs apples in polyethylene bags at supermarket.

‘Money’s too tight to mention’ for Nigerian shoppers who are highly price conscious and are taking several measures to mitigate rising food prices including cutting down on luxury items and buying in bulk to benefit from lower prices. These are just some of the findings from Nielsen’s latest 2019 Nigeria Shopper Trends Report.

Nielsen Consumer Insights Lead for West Africa Abiodun Olawale-Cole says; “Nigerian shoppers have become more cautious with their spend, they are pre-planning their category choices prior to shopping visits and once in store; mostly buying essentials and switching to cheaper brands.

“Factors impacting these choices include the fact that they’re increasingly shopping with a limited budget and are keen on low prices. In addition, a high number of shoppers notice price changes and most think prices are on the rise.”

Despite their concerns around price, Nigerian shoppers are experimental when it comes to trying new stores and will visit a new outlet in the area. Though motivated for initial visits, this is not seeing shoppers move past the trial stage of the shopping journey and is not converting them to loyalists.

Olawale-Cole suggests; “Retailers and manufacturers must consider the current shopper mindset when it comes to product pricing and strive to meet the needs and wants of a price conscious and deal-seeking shopper to improve loyalty and secure higher spend.”

Modern trade gains ground

Looking at the evolving roles of Modern Trade (MT) e.g. branded supermarkets and stores versus Traditional Trade (TT) e.g. non-branded stores, table-tops and kiosks within the Nigerian retail space, Olawale-Cole says that MT is starting to gain a foothold with a total value share of around 5% of FMCG sales.

“More than 90% of FMCG sales within Nigeria still take place within TT outlets in terms of value and volume and we don’t see that changing much in the next 12-months, however, we do expect significant growth in MT within the next five years.”

“Where we are seeing a lot of growth is in the number of physical MT stores with a number of local branded supermarkets opening e.g. Adide, as well as international chains such as Shoprite and Spar having bolstered the market. The percentage of spend has also almost doubled in Supermarkets compared to 2 years back (17% in 2017 to 33% in 2019), signalling more acceptance of modern trade in the country.”

The Nielsen Shopper Trends study found that Nigerian shoppers mainly use TT for their top up shops, so frequency of visits to these types of stores is understandably higher. Their main reason for visiting MT stores is for bulk shopping with spend normally much higher for this type of trip and visits to supermarkets averaging four times a month, while visits to convenience stores average nine times a month.

Convenience is key

Olawale-Cole elaborates; “Nigerians are starting to shop at Modern Trade outlets more; with one of the key drivers of this behaviour being the convenience of a one stop shop. This is evidenced by the fact that Convenience Stores have the highest monthly footfall within the MT category, with average shopper visits more than double that of Supermarkets.

It’s important to note that Traditional Trade (TT) also offers convenience in the form of close proximity to home and office and still provides better pricing on certain items but Olawale-Cole says; “In line with consumers’ need to simplify their lives, we foresee urban MT retail outlets e.g. supermarkets, growing their share of trade in Nigeria, as consumers become more willing to pay for the convenience and time saving benefits of one stop shop solutions.” Evidence of this is that larger independent MT stores are already gaining ground in Nigeria’s urban areas, with formats offering a combination of large and small stores.

Overall, the growing demand for convenience presents manufacturers and retailers with countless opportunities.

Olawale-Cole comments; “Today, convenience transcends products, services and store channels. Packaging innovation, route to market, storage, portability and ordering, as well as device, payment and application technologies all need to be key considerations in providing an overall convenience experience that appeals to the discerning Nigerian shopper.”

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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