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Fewer than half of primary grocery shoppers (44 percent) normally prepare a shopping list prior to a trip to the supermarket or grocery store, according to The Hartman Group.
The Hartman Group’s Shopping Topography 2012 research also revealed that in the store, 18 percent of consumers consult a shopping list maintained online or on a mobile device.
“Today, consumers think less about shopping per se than about what else they’re trying to accomplish, and shopping trips emerge from culturally defined patterns of living that by themselves may or may not have anything to do with shopping,” the consulting group noted in its recent “HartBeat” newsletter.
The group’s research suggests that shoppers typically rely on some combination of primary shopping tactics to complete their trips: taking inventory of needs prior to leaving home, shopping up and down the aisles, circling the perimeter, looking for at-shelf sale promotions, assembling recipes, reading circulars, collecting coupons and using lists.
Looking at grocery store shopping in particular -- which is the most frequently shopped channel for food and groceries and the channel with the heaviest use of shopping lists -- the Hartman Group found that most shoppers do not rely solely on their shopping lists. In fact, only about one in three (35 percent) grocery store shoppers who make a shopping list sticks with what’s on their list.
The remaining two-thirds of list makers consult their list but browse the aisles anyway. In part, this reflects the fact that shoppers know that their lists will invariably miss some items, but it also shows that making a list is not the all-determining factor for what is purchased in store.