AUSTIN, TX: Promotions affect every stage of the shopping experience, from where to shop in the first place to ongoing consumer loyalty post-purchase, new research has shown.

RetailMeNot, a digital offer marketplace, carried out four separate surveys which covered the online shopping journey, the in-store shopping journey, online cart abandonment and in-store cart abandonment with more than 1,000 respondents for each.

The finding that promotions triggered purchases for the great majority of shoppers who used them – 91% of in-store shoppers and 89% of online – was only to be expected.

But promotions were also a major factor in what to buy as purchasing decisions were swayed by what was on offer at any time. Four out of five of those shoppers using promotions sometimes, frequently or always considered promotions when planning what they were going to buy.

They were also arranging their buying around promotions sometimes weeks or more in advance – 74% of in-store shoppers and 66% of online shoppers said they scheduled store visits on this basis.

RetailMeNot said that promotions could help in reducing shopping cart abandonment. Such behaviour was most often cost-related but 78% of those people abandoning carts had sometimes, frequently or always looked for a promotion before doing so. And 68% had used promotions to return to their abandoned cart and complete their purchase.

Further, the impact of promotions spread beyond the behaviour one might intuitively expect to embrace other areas of the consumer experience, including brand loyalty and advocacy.

Despite the fact that shoppers were basing their decisions on what promotions were available, 68% were more likely to be loyal to a brand that offered online coupons or promotion codes. And the same proportion were likely to tell a friend about a company that used online coupons or promotion codes.

And while this might lead one to think brands would be tied into a cycle of promotions, 50% of respondents said they were more likely to buy a product or service at full price later from a company that offered online coupons or promotion codes.

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff