Nearly Every Shopper Will Look for Deals This Holiday Season — And Not Out of Necessity
Shopping isn’t what it used to be … it’s better. Smartphones and instant access to deals via thumb swipes and mouse clicks have perpetuated deal-seeking behavior and have turned everyone (including millennials) into professional shoppers and deal seekers. Consumers now have an emotional and habitual propensity to stretch their dollars and maximize purchase value — and this behavior doesn’t stem from necessity.
Despite the end of the recession, low unemployment rates and thicker pocketbooks, new research found that Americans are going after the best deals with a vengeance, and the number of consumers that look for deals is on the rise compared to last year. These insights identify trends that retailers should consider in advance of the busiest shopping season of the year:
- Almost all consumers seek deals regularly — and feel smart when they find them. When asked whether they look for deals when they shop, almost all respondents (97 percent) answered yes, and 92 percent said they are “always” looking. Delivering the right deal to the right shopper is important and can satisfy consumers desire to feel smart when they discover the best deals. Retailers have limitless opportunities to engage with nearly every shopper by offering deals, and should seize the opportunity.
- Income is irrelevant. Deal-seeking behavior isn’t limited to those who need to stick to a budget. Almost 90 percent of those respondents with annual household earnings of $200,000 or more look for deals regularly. Retailers should keep in mind that deals aren’t just for folks who are strapped for cash, and offering deals across a spectrum of high- and low-value products can help reach different shopper audiences. Even wealthy consumers don’t want to spend more than they have to.
- Price and value trump brand. Consumers aren’t solely motivated by price when shopping, but it does matter. Nearly 90 percent of respondents named price and 82 percent named quality as top factors affecting their purchasing decisions. Brand, by contrast, came in at 45 percent. So while brand does matter, deals are more important. Using this intel, retailers can offer deals to consumers to give them more bang for their buck while also attracting customers that associate the brand with a meaningful — and successful — shopping experience.
- Consumers look for deals before and during the shopping process. Before buying anything, shoppers research the best deals in loyalty and reward programs, in circulars and print ads, using smartphones, and by asking their social networks. They also search for deals in the same ways while actively shopping, particularly relying on smartphones to check for deals and compare prices. To beat out competitors, retailers should ensure deals are widely accessible to shoppers — and make sure shoppers can easily find them.
- Rebates are effective tools when done right. Shoppers also want to be rewarded post-purchase and report satisfaction in receiving rebates. Even though they’ve been around for years, rebates are often overlooked as effective rewards that reinforce purchasing behavior. In addition to satisfying shoppers, rebates can also benefit retailers because they gather customer data to help identify trends, keep shoppers engaged and encourage them to become repeat customers.
While comparing prices, coupon clipping and other deal-seeking behaviors aren’t new, there are now more opportunities for shoppers to research deals. Therefore, it’s no wonder they’re getting smarter. Retailers wanting to engage existing and prospective customers can offer deals to help meet consumers’ expectations for receiving the best price while also engaging with their brand.
To download the complete “The Recession May Be Over, But Deal Seeking Isn’t” e-book, click here.
Theresa McEndree is vice president of marketing at Hawk Incentives, a Blackhawk Network Business delivering incentive programs that build relationships with easy-to-use platforms, global rewards, and comprehensive service and support.
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