Vietnamese consumers, compared to other Asian shoppers, are more inclined to seek promotions as inflation causes more people to become price-sensitive, according to the latest edition of the Nielsen Shopper Trends Study released on July 5.

Vietnamese shoppers are the most prolific promotion buyers in the Asia-Pacific, Nielsen survey shows. Promotions and convenience continue to be the key drivers of store traffic.

Vietnam has the most promotionally focused shoppers, with 87 percent open to buying promotions compared to a regional average of 68 percent.

Nielsen found that 56 percent of Vietnamese shoppers actively search for promotions while shopping, compared to 38 percent regionally. This is due in part to the rising costs of everyday consumer goods.

With inflationary pressures showing no signs of abating, Vietnamese consumers are adjusting to rising everyday costs by noticeably changing their shopping behavior.

Under the survey, 60 percent of Vietnamese consumers in HCM City and Hanoi said their household purchasing power had fallen due to rising prices.

Consequently, consumers said they are cutting back by reducing spending on entertainment activities such as dining out and leisure traveling.

As consumers adjust to higher prices, certain changes in shopping habits can be seen as well, such as reducing the number of shops visited or the quantity of products per trip, buying more on promotion or visiting shops close to home to save on petrol expenses.

Consumers are moving to relatively bigger pack sizes for frequently used categories, such as laundry, shampoo, fish sauce and bouillon granules, in an effort to stretch their budgets.

Darin Williams, managing director of Nielsen Vietnam , said location continued to be the main factor in deciding where people shop.

Retailers should be aware that shoppers are increasingly looking for promotions and are more willing to change brands they buy and where they shop to find them.

He said retailers were well-advised to adopt more innovative promotions, point-of-sale displays and other tactics to attract and retain shoppers.

Private label market share – which changed very little over the past year – could stand to gain in several categories as shoppers look for other ways to save money without sacrificing quality.

"Those stores and brands that find the right combination of convenience, value and quality will be better able to ride out this challenging environment," he noted.

Despite some changes in shoppers' behavior, one factor remained unchanged. Vietnamese shoppers still shop at different channels depending on what they are searching for.

Traditional markets are used for fresh foods, while snacks, personal care products and dairy products tend to be purchased in supermarkets and traditional grocery stores.

Where before most consumers planned their purchases and remained disciplined while out shopping, today consumers are buying more at the spur of the moment when it comes to Fast-Moving Consumer Goods.

Thirty-five percent of consumers said they "walk up and down the aisles and pick the items they want," compared to 8 percent who simply "grab and go."

Vietnamese consumers also seem to be more loyal to brands in several categories, most notably dairy, alcohol and personal care.

More than 45 percent of shoppers said they would look elsewhere for a brand they know or with which they are familiar.

In contrast, more than 50 percent of shoppers indicated they would substitute their regular brands of carbonated soft drinks and snacks with another if alternate brands were less expensive or sold on promotion.

Nielsen Shopper Trends is an annual study on consumer shopping behavior that is conducted in the country's major cities, HCM City, Hanoi, Da Nang and Can Tho./.