While it came as no surprise that the economic downturn resulted in the rise of a more price-conscious shopper, what caught many off guard was that – even with consumer confidence now at its highest level since 2006 – the recession has solidified shopper habits in such a way that finding value for money remains a priority for many, writes HIM's Sophie Jones.

As an independent retailer, having a strong value-for-money proposition is paramount. But value for money is not just about offering the lowest price; it’s also about the efficiency of that amount spent.
A good value proposition takes into consideration many elements, including relevant promotions, good pricemarked pack availability and a wide own label range.

So ensure you select the right promotions for your customers. Our research tells us that money-off promotions are more influential to those shopping in unaffiliated independent stores, while multi-buys work better within the grocery multiples. There are regional differences, too. For example, Londoners are more promotionally driven than the rest of the UK. Getting it right means a more valuable customer for your store as, on average, shoppers who buy on promotion spend more.

Over the past few years, the price premium shoppers are happy to pay in c-stores versus supermarkets is decreasing, but we know that shoppers believe pricemarked packs give reassurance they are not being overcharged. So these are an important part of the mix.

Having an own label range offers shoppers a value alternative, but own label should offer customers choice and not become a replacement for brands. In this way you are giving shoppers the luxury of choice, which is a valuable proposition.

Convenience stores cannot compete on price alone. For most shopping missions shoppers do not choose c-stores because of the price; they choose them because they want to save time, they want an easy shopping experience and they want knowledgeable, friendly and efficient service. And to most convenience shoppers, ‘value for money’ encompasses all of these things.