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Does anyone even notice shopping trolley ads and supermarket-docket specials anymore?

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2015-March 2016, n=15,074. Base: Australians 14+

In today’s digital universe, where we are bombarded with increasingly sophisticated advertising and marketing promotions from all directions, do humble shopping trolley advertisements and special offers on the back of supermarket dockets even make a dent in our consciousness? According to the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research, that all depends on who’s shopping.

In the 12 months to March 2016, 10.8% of Australians aged 14+ (or just over 2.1 million people) agreed that ‘I usually notice the advertisements on shopping trolleys when I go grocery shopping’ and 22.0% (4.3 million people) reported that ‘I often take advantage of the special offers on the back of my supermarket shopping docket’.

Obviously, some consumers are more receptive than others to both forms of marketing, with factors such as age, living arrangements, work status and attitude to grocery-shopping being influential.

Aussie consumers most and least likely to notice trolley ads and supermarket docket specials


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2015-March 2016, n=15,074. Base: Australians 14+

For example, 18.8% of Australians aged 25-34 usually notice shopping-trolley advertising, a higher proportion than any other age group (particularly Aussies aged 65+, at a measly 5.7%). They are also the age group most likely to take advantage of the special offers on their supermarket docket (27.6%), in striking contrast to 50-64 year-olds (16.4%).

People who enjoy grocery-shopping are considerably more open to notice advertisements on shopping trolleys than those who don’t enjoy it (15.1% vs 6.7%) as well as being more likely to take advantage of the offers on the reverse of their docket (27.7% vs 17.1%).

Living alone seems to reduce a person’s likelihood of engaging with these kinds of supermarket promotions, in contrast to students and people who live in share-houses, both of whom come out above average (bearing in mind, of course, that there would be some crossover between these two groups).

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Not all advertising and marketing promotions need to be a high-budget work of digital art: there remains a place for tried-and-true methods such as special offers on supermarket dockets and ads on shopping trolleys. However, it is crucial that marketers have a solid understanding of which consumers will be most receptive to these promotions – and tailor their campaigns accordingly.

“As we have seen, attitudinal and demographic variables are helpful when identifying who is most likely to pay attention to supermarket marketing. There is also some distinction between customers of different supermarkets, with people who usually shop at ALDI being more likely than other supermarkets’ customers to notice ads on shopping trolleys, and those who usually shop at Coles most receptive to offers on the back of their dockets.  

“An even more effective way to pinpoint the right audience is by using Roy Morgan’s revolutionary profiling tool Helix Personas. Providing an uncannily accurate insight into the country’s myriad consumer groups, Helix reveals that people from the Getting By community are especially likely to notice shopping trolley ads and make the most of offers on the back of their supermarket dockets. Often from non-Anglo backgrounds, these young, outer-suburban families tend to be on a tight budget, so are always on the look-out for ways to get a bigger bang for their buck...”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%