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Survey: Discounts, brand values motivate consumers

A good deal always helps motivate shoppers, but there are other offerings retailers can try.

According to the annual “Consumer Intel Report” from marketing technology and consumer engagement firm Valassis, 70% of respondents have increased saving behaviors since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and 76% of those expect these new behaviors to continue over the next year.

However, results of the report’s two separate surveys of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers indicate that marketing messages which include coupons, discounts and social media promotions have the potential to shorten the path to purchase. Six in 10 (61%) respondents said coupons or discounts can inspire them to try a new brand and 54% said it would lead them to make an impulse purchase. Another 60% said receiving a coupon or discount speeds up their decision to make a purchase.

Consumers also show an interest in savings in other ways. Three-quarters (76%) of respondents compare prices between brands using printed store circulars and 71% do so using online circulars. More than half (51% )of millennials and 43% of Gen Z consumers scan receipts with their mobile device to receive cash back or points post-purchase, compared to 31% of all respondents.

Beyond savings, 71% of respondents are more likely to purchase from a brand or store they trust, and almost half (48%) say they are inclined to be loyal to a brand or store that shares its efforts to be environmentally responsible or has sustainable/ethical business practices.

Social media can also be an important tool for consumers to share and obtain product information, especially younger demographics. Forty-five percent of millennials and 33% of Gen Z share brand reviews including details of how much they saved (compared to 23% of all respondents). More than one-third (35%) of all respondents say they’ve made an unplanned purchase based on something they saw on social media (a five-percentage point increase from 2019).

Overall, 35% of respondents consider themselves to be predominantly impulse shoppers (up from 28% in 2019). When consumers make impulse buys in-store, 43% say that it’s out of a desire to “treat themselves.” Despite the ongoing pandemic, 45% of consumers are expanding their budget and ability to buy fun things or experiences by using coupons and discounts.

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