Price is important when it comes to buying things, but it is no longer the only, or even the primary, factor being considered when we make a purchase.
There was a time when the main issues when making a purchase were is it the right thing, how many do I need, are they available now and is it a good price. No longer.
Of course the price of something is still an important part of our decision making, but what is a good price and what is not is very much determined by the individual.
As an example, when it comes to food, the sky is really the limit when it comes to what is a good price and what is not.
The generic brands in the supermarkets have lower prices generally than the name brands and they sell well, especially in some areas. But there are many people who will only buy a particual brand of a certain food because they believe that it tastes or looks better or for some other reason.
These reasons include aspects which were not even on the radar years ago – like the carbon footprint, the Health Star Rating, the health benefits, whether the food is “natural” and the social impact of the company either selling or making the food.
Everyone knows that organic and free range eggs cost us more to buy, but many people make a deliberate decision to buy them because they feel good about where those eggs are coming from. This is another example of where price is no longer the primary factor in the purchase decision.
It is not only food which now have many factors contributing to the sale or not, it is the companies which make or sell the food.
A recent decision by a leading supermarket chain in Australia shows how companies are adjusting what they do to meet non price issues to generate sales. This supermarket recognized that there is a group in our community which finds the whole loud and often crowded supermarket experience to be daunting and so they do not do it. Autistic folk and their carers can struggle in supermarkets due to the noise, lots of people and huge choices available.
So one of our supermarket chains has instigated “Quiet Hour” between 10.30 and 11.30am every Tuesday in all their stores across the country, after running successful trials.
The lights will be lowered, noises will be reduced and staff will be focused on helping those who find supermarkets to be scary places.
It is not the price which will impact on the decision to purchase, but the company offering a situation which helps it’s customers make thos purchases.
This action will generate more sales for this supermarket chain, through the Autistic folk and their carers now being more comfortable to shop at that time each week, but also by letting the community know that it is doing this, the social capital of this company has dramatically increased.
The focus by food companies on increasing social impact by food products and associated businesses is new, but is becoming an expectation in the purchase decision as we move into the future.