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Customers see new products first in the store, and research online using search: study

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Customers are more likely to see new products in the store first, a new study has found. And when they come to research them online they’re more likely to use search, either through a browser or a specific website than to turn to social media.

The findings come from the new GfK Innovation Survey, which highlights the continuing importance of innovation to consumers. Some 84% of the 2.983 people who took part in the study this February said that to them innovation meant a product that would help them improve ways of doing things, while 73% said it was a product that provided a solution to an existing problem, and 72% said it was the use of technology to solve a problem. Some 61% cited increased speed as a benefit.

Benefits of product innovation, said consumers, included making life easier (83%), helping people do things better (81%), saving money (80%), saving time (75%), convenience (77%) and entertainment (33%).

And the top five categories where people buy new products include snacks, household cleaning products, packaged food, perishable food and oral care.

Seeing a product in-store was the most popular way of finding out about a new product for 66.3% of respondents, followed by TV advertising (37.4%). Family and friends are a strong source (13.9%), along with newspapers and magazines (10.9%) Online, internet searches (4.9%) and websites (2.9%) are used more than social media. Facebook sees 2.1% of searches for new products, while Twitter and other social media networks see 0.4% and 0.5% of searches respectively.

“There is no doubt of the importance of product innovation in the grocery sector – particularly for products such as snacks and drinks, household cleaning and laundry products and toiletries,” said Peter Jenkins, head of FMCG for the UK at GfK. “Even in these straitened times we see that if people believe a new product will make their lives better, the benefit is more important than cost savings.”

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