Georgina Wild of HIM discusses the importance of offering value for money

There's no denying shoppers are more aware of price now compared with the days before the recession. When money is tighter and shoppers are more price aware they expect more for each pound they spend, so retailers need to work harder to encourage them to part with their cash, and promoting value for money takes on an even greater importance.

The trick is to incorporate convenience into your value for money message, such as by saying 'All you need right on your doorstep' using leaflets in your local catchment area.

With competition increasing and shoppers now having more choice, consumers have become more critical and their expectations have risen.

In the c-store sector, shoppers say that value for money has fallen in the past year (rated as 7.9 on average compared with 8.4 last year). Fewer shoppers are rating their local store as 10/10 for value for money, and more are saying that it is just "acceptable". So retailers need to be doing better at meeting shoppers' needs in order to just maintain their satisfaction.

Store owners need to be conscious their margins aren't too high at a time when shoppers are more price aware. Do you know if your prices are comparable? If not, find out. HIM can help you track pricing across specific categories, retailers and SKUs.

And when you know you have a good price on a key line, then make sure you shout about it.

The use of pricemarked packs (PMPs) has significantly increased as a useful tool to communicate value to consumers and continually increases in popularity with convenience retailers only 14% stock no PMPs at all.

When HIM asked shoppers if a PMP would encourage them to buy that product, 36% replied yes. The key reasons shoppers give for choosing a PMP are 'Confident I'm not being overcharged' (48%), 'So I don't have to ask the price' (25%) and 'Better value for money' (19%).

Shoppers are also positively influenced to buy PMPs because it gives them reassurance they are not being 'ripped off' (56% think a PMP is a rrp, while 22% actually think it's cheaper).

As a specific example, Birds Eye introduced a £2 PMP on its Traditional Beef Dinner and it generated a 50% increase in sales. Because of this uplift it is now planning to launch eight more PMPs especially for the convenience sector.