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Why consumers are shopping with your competitors (rather than you)

Updated: Mar 9, 2023

We are all biased when it comes to our brand. We think it's the best and consumers should want to shop with us over our competitors. So why are shoppers purchasing from your competitors?

Consumers choose one brand for several reasons. We like an easy life, meaning convenience is key. However, with the increasing cost of living consumers are also shopping smartly. In the past decade, there has been a rush to shop with better brands. This trend is led by Gen Zs and Millennials. Brands need to win the hearts and minds of consumers. But how do we do this? By optimising your brand, and demonstrating your value and positive behaviour.


It’s a Monday evening and you remember you have no food for dinner. It’s 5 pm already. What do you do? Choose the best pasta which cooks quickly and tastes the best? Do you spend hours researching? No, it’s likely you pick up a pack from your local supermarket on the way home. Humans love convenience.

But how do we ensure our brand is the most convenient for customers? By driving customers to our website, our stores, and our app. Make it easy for them to choose us.

SEO is key to this (but not the only thing). You need to secure links and brand mentions on high-ranking websites. You can do this by paying for links. But Google is cracking down on this with algorithms such as Panda, Penguin and the latest one Spambrain. Instead, you need to secure earned media. We secure links and brand mentions by crafting topical press stories and sharing them with our network of contacts.

Consider this, your headphones break (like mine did last week). You need new ones as soon as possible but want good value. You search the internet for the best headphones. Pages of round-ups of the best headphones pop-up and you read the journalists’ reviews. You already trust the journalist due to reading their content before and you trust the publication, and you know they aren’t being paid to recommend them. Journalists like convenience too. They choose brands they’ve been made aware of. They search through their inbox for ‘headphones’ and write to the journalists who’ve shared good pitches calling the items in for testing.


‘Oh, I know that brand. I saw them in Glamour last week, so they must be good’. We’ve all thought this before. We like two brands, one is slightly cheaper or seems a little better but we’ve never heard of them. Could they be a bad brand? I should do my research and ask around, but I don’t have much time and no one seems to have heard of them.

In a world dominated by scams and poor-quality items, we want to easily be able to identify good quality.

Studies show that the average person has to see a brand seven times before buying it. A regular presence in the media builds trust. Consumers trust journalists' views over adverts. They aren't being paid to promote the products, but have tested the products and chosen to recommend them. Consumers already trust their preferred publications and journalists. An endorsement means your brand can have this trust transferred to your product.


The cost of living has hit many consumers. Even consumers who haven’t felt their purses tighten have been consuming media telling them to spend less and shop sensibly. But consumers are still spending, only differently.

At Lem-uhn, we call this change in shopping behaviour ‘conscious shopping’. We always have impulsive and planned shoppers. However, due to budgets tightening even impulsive shoppers are having to be considerate about spending. All shoppers are spending more time researching and considering the value of products before spending.

Now more than ever, brands need to show their value. Shoppers can be persuaded to choose the cheapest product. However, the value of the product also plays a huge role. Why buy one cheap product that won’t deliver the value we want and means we’ll have to spend more in the long run?

Securing inclusions in the best round-ups of products and product reviews is vital to driving sales and ensuring shoppers choose you over your competitors.

Poor CSR or not shouting about it

Gen Zs and Millennials have been leading the move towards shopping from more ethical brands. The trend has influenced social discourse meaning consumers of all ages and backgrounds are considering the brand they buy from’s ethics.

Corporate Social Responsibility supports companies to reach these consumers by implementing ethical strategies and considerations. However, the major problem companies are facing is that no one knows about their CSR.

Your CSR team and PR team should work together to ensure the positive reception of your company. Don’t let your amazing positive steps go unnoticed.

Are customers shopping with your competitors over you? If you want to stop losing customers you can book a PR and Marketing Strategy Audit. It’s a quick, free call for us to assess your strategy and outline where your strategy needs adjusting and what’s possible in the next few months. Sign up here for a free introduction consultancy call.

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