Consumers Prefer Printed Circulars Over Digital

Advertising on the mailbox

Don’t discard those printed advertising circulars just yet.

A new study from Nielsen Homescan shows that despite the fact U.S. adults are spending more than three hours a day online, 80% of households are turning to those old school printed advertising circulars when making grocery purchasing decisions instead of digital sources of information.

As reported in Food Dive, consumers tend to read circulars at home, where they have an 85% penetration, versus in-store, which has a 79% use penetration. This shows that the majority of consumers are planning what to buy and where to shop before they leave home. But nearly 80% of them are still influenced by printed circulars once they get to the store.

Still, digital marketing tools are gradually catching up, with 77% of of U.S. households visiting retail websites, and 75% checking out targeted emails.  These numbers reflect slight increases – a 3% rise for store websites and a 4% increase for store emails — equal to the declines in circular penetration at home and in stores between 2014 and 2017, Nielsen reported.

As grocers scramble to jump on the online bandwagon, there are many assumptions being made about today’s digital-savvy consumer, most notably that they prefer online platforms and messages to traditional models. But Nielsen’s data showed that when it comes to circulars, the old-fashioned way may be a retailer’s best bet — for now.



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