South Africans look to beat the price – and Game delivers
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With consumer budgets tighter than ever a year after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey by mass retailer, Game, has found that 70% of consumers continue to keep track of pricing on items they have already bought.
Despite this, only 25% are putting retail-related savings into a savings account, while the majority are spending these on extra items they need for their homes – no matter their monthly household income.
The survey, which sampled over 780 South African consumers, found that over 80% of respondents in every household income category – which spanned from less than R2000 a month to more than R100 000 a month – said bargain hunting has become more important to them in the past year.
In line with this, the results showed that more South Africans were putting savings policies, like Game’s Price Beat Promise, to use on groceries than they were on large appliances and HD TVs. “This research has indicated just how important saving is to the South African consumer in 2021,” says Katherine Madley, Vice President of Marketing at Game. “We found that customers have used the Price Beat Promise on groceries. Groceries have become an important category for us throughout the last year, and it is positive to see that South Africans regard us as an affordable option in this regard.”
Game launched its Price Beat Promise in 1970, as part of its commitment to offering its customers unbeatable prices on every item over the last 51 years. If you're shopping for something specific and find it cheaper elsewhere, let Game know by taking the leaflet showing the cheaper price into one of its 119 stores across the country, and they will beat that price by 10% on the difference. As of May 2021, the Price Beat Promise is also redeemable as an after-sales service for purchases made online. Customers who have purchased items online within the last 21 days can email a screenshot or link to the cheaper item to [email protected], along with their order number, in order to be eligible for a refund of the difference between prices plus 10% on the difference.
For those consumers who continue to track prices after purchase, the Price Beat Promise still applies. If you see the item you have purchased from Game cheaper anywhere else within 21 days of purchase, you are able to take the competitor leaflet, valid at the time of the request into any Game store to receive a refund of 10% on the difference.
Game’s survey found that most respondents who had put Game’s Price Beat Promise to the test in the last six months had a household income of between R2000 and R5000 a month. In households with an income of less than R2000, consumers looked to save predominantly on groceries, baby products and furniture, while those with an income of up to R5000 looked to save on electronics and smart and HD televisions. Groceries remained a key driver for those with household incomes between R10 000 and R20 000.
Of those who continued to track item prices after purchase, 59% said they use leaflets to compare prices, while only 43% relied on Google searches. Interestingly, using leaflets is most popular amongst respondents with a household income of between R5000 and R10 000; while those with a household income of less than R2000 said they preferred to use Google search.
“When comparing their bargain hunting habits year-on-year, 50% of respondents said they were looking for better deals this year and 33% said they were focusing on buying essential items only – which could be what is driving the consumer to look for savings on items like groceries,” says Madley. “These findings give retailers an important glimpse into the mind of the South African consumer in 2021, and should be driving merchandising and pricing strategies for any retailer looking to remain relevant.”
Madley notes that Game intends to run this price perception survey on a quarterly basis to keep abreast of changes and trends in consumer behaviour.