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The crisis has increased the interest in "Made in Greece"

28 September 2012 / 17:09:29  GRReporter
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Victoria Mindova

With the intensification of the crisis, consumers in the country are giving priority to the label "Made in Greece" rather than to imported goods. Consumers’ mentality of the mid-nineties that looked for expensive, imported and luxury products has vanished with the changes in the social and economic life in Greece and now, their profile is diametrically opposite. Currently, the average consumer in Greece prefers to buy goods produced domestically, no matter whether the producer is a Greek or a foreign company.

The majority of them think that the quality of goods produced in Greece is better, but even those consumers, who do not agree with that, are ready to choose goods made in Greece to support the local economy. These are the findings of a research conducted by the Institute for Retail Consumer Goods, which the expert Leftheris Kiosis presented at the marketing forum "Turning Insights into Actions".

The consumer behaviour analysis in the last two years shows that 70% of Greeks believe that domestically produced goods are better than imported ones. 36% of them are willing to pay more for locally produced goods rather than for imported ones. Another 20% do not believe that local produce is of higher quality than the foreign products, but they will buy Greek products to support Greek enterprises.

In addition to the national label, the goods preferred today should be of high quality but not too expensive. The value for money ratio already plays a major role. The deepening crisis has made consumers in Greece much more conservative in their decisions where, how and on what to spend their money. They want to somehow contribute to the retaining of jobs in the country, provoking the so-called "domestic oriented consumption." They prefer local products, but look around for better deals and prices that are more attractive.

The profile of the most active consumers in Greece consists of people of productive age (25-45 years) who are from the middle class, employed and mainly women. More than half of supermarket purchases are included in a list made at home and are a part of a household’s routine shopping. The big stake for sales representatives and companies is how to make their shop or supermarket more attractive and how to increase their sales.

Data in Greece show that despite the drop in income and the somewhat reduced consumption, the prices of basic foodstuffs have risen. This is due to the shift in the consumers’ interest from general consumer goods to essential products - food and medicines. It is typical of Greek consumers that they prefer to shop for all major product types from the same shop.

Iro Papadopoulou, who is the Managing Director of TNS ICAP, said that consumption of households fell by -4.8% compared to 2011 and a housewife spends 17.7 euro on average each time she goes shopping. Although Greeks buy fewer goods per visit to the supermarket, they go shopping more often.

The general consumer mood remains negative, as 88% of respondents in ICAP’s poll admit that their own income is insufficient to pay all the bills for electricity, water, and general overheads and bank obligations. 78% state they are unhappy and that is mainly due to the government policy. Another 58% claim that they cannot make plans for the next 12 months because of a deep sense of insecurity in the near future. This state of Greek consumers prevents them from making decisions about large purchases. Market experts define the Greeks as scared and distrustful, seeking inexpensive products of national identity and of good quality.

Louis Michel Barboten, president of Global Shopper Insights, SymphonyIRI Group, gave some important advice to commercial chains on how to make their shops and supermarkets more attractive for the increasingly demanding customers. Consumers are already extremely well informed and have knowledge richer than of those 30 years ago. "Consumers are already experts," Barboten said and added that excessive supply of goods and services requires a more flexible method of operation based on the consumer’s convenience. The nature of the market has changed dramatically and the links between the industry, the manufacturers and the retailers should be changing with it. Now the goods produced must be truly innovative to be able to distinguish them among the sea of ​​similar products.

"The keywords are quick, easy and convenient," the specialist said. According to a survey in Greece, a person needs about 47 seconds at the shelves of goods before deciding what to buy from the supermarket. This time in the UK is 107 seconds. The tendency is for a man to read up to eight words when in a shop and so, the best way to inform customers about the quality of a product is through photos and collages. A product that is positioned better and has a more attractive package in combination with a suitable price is usually the winner among similar products. This does not mean that it is the best product or the product of the best quality.

Over 50% of consumers knowingly choose products that may not be good for their health, but have properties that they prefer. When housewives go to the shop, they largely know what they want to buy. Spontaneous purchases in commercial sites occur more often in shops where the products are arranged according to their application rather than to their origin.

An unemployed person gave the example of baby food, nappies and wet wipes for infants. Traditionally, the goods were arranged in three different departments of a supermarket until now - baby food with purées and pastes, nappies with sanitary towels and wet wipes for infants with face cleansers. "All of these products should be in one place and even close to the entrance," the specialist said. He stresses that a baby puree has nothing in common with semi-finished purees for adults. Walking around in shops creates a feeling of tension and frustration if the products are not easily detected.

The logic is that if a young mother goes shopping, her first priority is to provide everything her child needs. If she is able to do so upon entering the shop, then she will be calmer and able to purchase other goods. Marketing experts estimate that high tension reduces the purchasing power of consumers by 10%. A calm consumer, on the other side, is willing to spend at least 10% more than originally planned if the goods in a commercial facility are conveniently arranged.


Tags: EconomyMarketsMarketingSupermarketsGreece
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