A change in shopping habits for taxi commuters in winter

According to SANTACO (The SA National Taxi Council), Taxis transport approximately 15 million commuters daily, and this accounts for 60-70% of the commuting public, in particular the workforce.

In the light of this, it is important for marketers and brands to comprehend their commuting lifestyle, and how this has an influence in their shopping habits and behaviour.

Taking a taxi at 7pm is now a total different scenario to what it was during the summer days, and commuters would rather be long home by then.

We have uncovered four main findings which have a big impact on commuter’s shopping habits into the winter season namely: Speed of service, convenience, cash, and weekend shopping…

  • Speed of service: The quicker they can get into a store, buy what they need, pay and quickly get to the taxi is paramount. Waiting in long queues is out of the question. Service becomes a very important aspect of their shopping experience and speed and efficiency is an important consideration for them.
  • Convenience: The less time they spend in shops the sooner they can walk to the taxis. Commuters do not want to spend minutes in the shop trying to decide walking from one aisle to the next to pick up little items here and there, but ideally would like the convenience of “grab and go”. Weekly buying is mainly for food to prepare dinner for the family and complimentary dinner items in on convenient area would be ideal. It hard enough trying to decide what to eat for dinner and having to walk around the aisles also adds more effort to the mix.
  • Cash: A major breakthrough for commuters that has really made life simpler for commuters is being able to withdraw money from shop tills. Now they do not need to walk to the ATM then to the store which also posses more risk of being mugged, but can now withdraw at the till, pay for their goods and get change they can use to pay the taxi. Taxi drivers have a hard time finding change for commuters who come with fixed notes especially in the mornings, and therefore the store still has become a convenient way to be able to get change to pay the taxi in the evening and for the next morning.
  • Weekend shopping: The limited shopping time during the week pushes for more and more commuters to do their shopping during the weekends as well.

This significant change in commuter shopping habits during the winter season is something that brands need to take note of in order to create relevant communication to this market during the winter season.

The long shopping hours do not become a major factor in commuter’s minds during winter but rather the speedy service and convenience become of more importance; a relevant communication platform for this market

About the author

Founder and Trend Analyst at TrendER Insights. Mogorosi's passion lies in unearthing consumer insights that will help brands build more meaningful relationships with their consumers. Email: mogorosi@trender.co.za