As part of our recent customer survey we asked a wide range of questions. One of the questions we were most interested in seeing the answers to was where do people who have applied for a NOW FINANCE personal loan shop for their groceries.
Where do Australians Shop for Their Groceries?
As numerous pieces of research from various sources have shown in recent years, the two big brands, Coles and Woolworths, remain the dominant forces where Australians shop for groceries most often.
Our research also highlighted this to be true, with 73% of respondents saying they shopped regularly for groceries at Coles, and 66% shopping regularly for groceries at Woolworths.
Interestingly, we also discovered that 35% of respondents shop regularly at Aldi.
In recent years, the grocery market share enjoyed by Aldi has continued to grow, and is likely to continue doing so in the future.
With so many Australians now open minded with regards to where they are going to shop, and judging by the distribution of the responses to our question, mixing up where they shop and perhaps even splitting where they buy their groceries each week between more than one store, we got to thinking how this might be reflected in the personal loans marketplace.
Who Has Control of the Personal Loans Marketplace?
In much the same way that grocery shopping is still dominated by the big names, the same is true for the personal loans marketplace in Australia. 85 – 90% of the personal loan marketplace is held by the ‘Big Four’ banks.
However, there are now more alternatives for consumers than ever before. Even Australians who have their personal bank account or mortgage with a ‘Big Four’ bank aren’t automatically applying for a personal loan with them. Similarly, Australian consumers that have always shopped at Coles or Woolworths are now looking elsewhere, either for their full shop or at least for some of their groceries.
Why are People Turning Away from Their Usual Consumer Habits?
The key to answering this question is to look at how those traditionally dominating the market offer their products.
The big banks offer personal loans, but the reality is they don’t care about them that much. They make their money on mortgages and other products. At the same time, they know that a huge percentage of the Australian marketplace – and many of their own customers – are going to come to them if they need a personal loan. This knowledge breeds complacency, which is why we see and hear things like:
- The big banks offering the same interest rate to all their customers, regardless of their credit score and credit history.
- People not wanting to deal with the big banks for a personal loan because they dislike the feeling of being judged when they have to go into a branch and discuss their circumstances.
- Big banks scoring poorly on customer service measures because – despite having had to go into a branch to finalise their loan – people spend hours on the phone trying to discuss their account.
Doing this when there is no alternative is one thing. However, as soon as another option comes along, and shows that there’s a better way, consumers will look elsewhere.
At NOW FINANCE we’ve seen this happen as we’ve told everyone about our personal service and how we ensure that our personal loans are about you, from you having your own personal account manager who will be the person you always speak to when you call NOW FINANCE to us allowing you to get your personalised interest rate before applying.
In the context of the supermarkets, for years Coles and Woolworths had things their own way, but now things are changing and they’re having to adapt to the new marketplace conditions and the way consumers are behaving.
The big banks haven’t started to do this yet, but they’ll have to once their huge market share starts to fall. They may not care about personal loans from a service perspective, but they will when it starts to hit the balance sheet.
Today, People are Driven by Price
While money isn’t everything, it is fair to say that cash is king for many consumers, whether we’re talking about taking out a personal loan, booking a holiday, or where to do the weekly grocery shop.
If you can combine this with the personal touch or by providing an easier means to acquire what consumers are looking for, it’s a recipe for success.
Here at NOW FINANCE we put all our energy into providing the best customer service in the personal loan space, while also giving our customers the opportunity to save money with a personalised rate.
In the context of grocery shopping, Aldi make it easy to find what you’re looking for and to get around their stores, helping you do your shopping quicker, in a less stressful manner, while saving money and still getting quality produce at the same time.
The Future of Personal Loans
As people are diversifying their grocery shopping habits, they will continue to do the same for financial products. No longer will Australians assume they need to get their personal loan from their bank or mortgage provider. Instead, they will embrace the freedom to shop around and enjoy a specialist, personal service based on the product they are looking for, so while they can deal with the bank for their mortgage they can choose NOW FINANCE when they next need a loan.
Likewise, while Aldi isn’t somewhere we’ll ever be able to buy the wide range of products we can from Coles or Woolworths, it is a place consumers can choose to enjoy a different experience, and as our research shows, a large percentage of people are already doing so.
Disclaimer: This article contains general comments and recommendations only. This article has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before taking any action you should consider the appropriateness of the comments made in the article, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If this article relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular credit product you should obtain and consider the relevant disclosure documents before applying for the product.