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Retailers face 'frugal bargain hunters'

News, 14 October 2016

NEW YORK: Retailers hoping to boost their profits this holiday season will be simultaneously cheered, yet concerned, by a new survey that suggests American consumers plan to spend more this year, but many will never pay full price.

According to Accenture, the professional services firm, 44% of US consumers plan to spend more than they did last year, but 42% say they rarely or never expect to pay full price for an item during the holiday season.

In addition, around two-thirds (67%) say they will buy goods from different stores or websites to get the lowest price, while nearly three-quarters (72%) say they would shop with a retailer they haven't used in the last year if they are offered promotions.

Now in its tenth year, the Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey based its findings on an online poll of 1,500 US consumers that was carried out in September.

While the survey indicates that a significant proportion of consumers intend to be frugal this year, it appears they are also "willing to give more to receive more".

More than half (54%) say they are open to sharing personal information and shopping preferences in return for personalised offers, which is a major increase on the 33% of consumers who felt the same way in 2014.

Discounts and coupons (78%) are most effective at persuading shoppers to share their personal data, although loyalty card points (52%) and highly relevant promotions (47%) also work.

"The good news is that US consumers plan to spend more and are increasingly willing to share personal information to receive offers – but they remain focused on frugal bargain hunting," said Jill Standish, Senior MD of Retail at Accenture.

"The clear opportunity for retailers is to learn all they can about their customers and use these insights to provide the personalised and timely deals consumers are seeking. By optimising inventory and marketing, they can increase the profitability of each customer visit to their store or website and maximise each click," she added.

Data sourced from Accenture; additional content by Warc staff