Consumer behaviour in Belgium is changing!

4 min read
Jun 27, 2023 12:06:27 PM

From increasing inflation on food products to new promotion preferences: find out how HighCo DATA can navigate your company through changing Belgian consumer trends.

Supposing that the current economic situation in Belgium has an underestimated impact on purchasing behaviour is the equivalent of kicking in an open door. Recent studies have brought a number of notable trends to light that is certain to come in handy for companies when examining and fine-tuning their marketing and sales strategies. This article takes a look at two of these studies. It shows how and why HighCo DATA is a strong partner for taking on purchasing-behaviour challenges.

Study 1: Growth from Knowledge (GfK)

According to a report from GfK, in Belgium, the inflation on food products has risen to 8.4%. This has had its most noticeable effect on expenditure on Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), an area that has grown by a mere 1.8%. This makes it look as though consumers have adjusted their purchasing behaviour. In a world of rising prices, it’s a sign they’re buying less and switching to cheaper products and sales channels. This results in a further discrepancy between retailer strategy to generate traffic and the desire of A-brands to deliver as much value as possible everywhere while still achieving sales. The objectives of the three parties are clearly not all on the same line. 

GFK grafiek inflatie

Consumption in Belgium has reduced to the level it was at before COVID-19. This means that the apparent growth in sales has actually resulted from price increases. 

It’s unsettling – even alarming – that inflation, and inflation on food products in particular, will hit young families the hardest. These families are being forced to consume less. They have no other option than to switch to more affordable items and distribution channels. For companies that want to fine-tune their strategy to the current economic situation, this information is crucial. Because no matter how highly our sector rates the creation of value, it needs to acknowledge that at the moment, it is all about the price-quality ratio. A number of brands do understand this. They’ve let go of value creation in favour of aiming at developing a stronger price perception with their consumers. 

At HighCo DATA, we have also noted a rise in operational marketing focused on consumer price perception. Of course, improving consumer price perception isn’t something that you just do off the bat. From a strategic standpoint, setting up a price-perception-improvement campaign is not without risks. It’s best not to start on it with an unfettered cowboy mentality when you’re flirting with the fine line between value creation and price positioning. 
And that’s where we come into the picture. With years of experience, the team at HighCo DATA can offer high-quality guidance. It results in the client's testimonies to the effect of: ‘You have once again advised me well on what redemption and response to expect.’ That creates trust and confidence in our clients.

Study 2: Shopper & Trade Marketing Congress

This second study, titled ‘Promo Learnings 7+1’, was performed by Shelf Service and Gondola in the framework of the Shopper & Trade Marketing Congress. It puts the promotional preferences of consumers under the microscope. What has it discovered? It appears that women and older people are more sensitive to promotions than other demographic groups. It's also become apparent that there is a great discrepancy between the promotions they expect and the promotions they prefer. In other words? There’s room for improvement in the way that brands and retailers promote their products. 

Shelfservice research

The report also states that Belgian consumers have an outspoken preference for omnichannel discount coupons. They greatly appreciate the flexibility to use discount coupons in both physical stores and online platforms. Having been active in digital solutions for quite some time now, HighCo DATA will gladly assure that the figures aren’t lying: the relationship between digital and analogue is changing. E-coupons typically generate more redemptions. This creates a possibility of using targeted marketing as the engine behind these results. Consumers also attach more value to direct price reductions than to receiving extra products. Long live the ‘50% off’ price reduction, but you would do away with the ‘1+1 free’ promotions if the consumer is given the choice. 

The findings above emphasise the importance of good cooperation between retailers and brands in the implementation of promotions. Even more so, they show that it needs to be better. The call for the whole sector is loud and clear: work together to better respond to the needs and expectations of consumers.

HighCo DATA to the rescue

The context has been outlined on the basis of these two studies. It exposes a crucial role for HighCo DATA to play. With no less than thirty-six years of experience in the design and execution of promotional campaigns, we provide solutions. Ready-to-go, responding to your needs, whether your goal is to attract new clients, increase your sales or reward loyalty. HighCo DATA has the knowledge and digital expertise to facilitate the implementation of a communication plan for your online campaigns in combination with promotional techniques such as discount vouchers, cashback, gamification, and ever so much more ... 

HighCo DATA also helps you with your sampling campaigns. And, with the multi-brand e-discount coupon activation with its national coverage, HighCo DATA offers a service that opens up simple drive-to-store possibilities and enriches your CRM database at the same time. As well as this, we set up loyalty campaigns to reward faithful clients or work out cashback campaigns to support the launch of a new product. 

Together with you, we build the bridge between your range and the needs of your consumers. With our input, you’ll respond smoothly to changing purchasing behaviour. You and your company will navigate your way through an unstable economy. And that is where we are at the moment: uncertain economic times. It’s not simple. It’s challenging. But make the most of all these insights, and you’ll improve your company results. 

Interested in our eBook:"Everything you ever wanted to know about discount coupons." Get it here. 

Contact us today and you’ll immediately see how HighCo DATA helps you reach your goals. Our experts are already interested. They’re ready to guide you at every step of your promotional campaign. From the design and the media through to the implementation. A total concept that responds seamlessly to the wishes of you and your clients. 

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