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Survey: Deals drive purchases during pandemic

Retailers seeking to stay competitive in the era of COVID-19 should offer discounts across channels.

According to the “2021 Retail Outlook” from RetailMeNot, 70% of surveyed consumers said finding a discount or offer on an item is more important today than it was one year ago. Fifty-four percent of respondents said better online deals and discounts are a top driver to get them to shop with a specific retailer, while 43% cited exclusive in-store deals.

In a good sign for retailers, respondents show general optimism about their confidence and spending levels once the pandemic begins to stabilize. Roughly half of respondents (49%) expect to receive a stimulus check in 2021, and almost six in 10 (58%) expect a tax refund this year.

In addition, over the next month, the categories where respondents are most likely to increase spending are groceries, takeout, travel, electronics, home and garden, home improvement, clothing, accessories, technology, and home goods. High-earning respondents with an annual income of over $75,000 per year are 67% more likely to increase their spending across all of these categories in 2021. Meanwhile, millennial respondents are most likely to increase spend on clothing, accessories, and technology for leisure.

Examining current product demand trends, RetailMeNot finds 100% stronger demand for home exercise equipment, 38% stronger demand for beverages like coffee and alcohol, 136% stronger demand for computer and electronic accessories, and 20% stronger demand for hardware and home improvement.

Looking ahead, RetailMeNot predicts the second half of 2021 could rise to an all-time high as Americans begin to supplement a year’s worth of purchases that were put on hold in 2020. In addition, Q2 2021 shopping holidays (such as Memorial Day) will likely be bigger than normal, with retailers increasing their promotional efforts and discounts to bring back shoppers.

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