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UK online shoppers get savvier

News, 17 March 2015

LONDON: More of the UK's online shoppers are hunting out voucher codes to use before making a purchase new research has revealed.

Voucherbox.co.uk, a UK voucher code site that has a stable of more than 1,500 stores, including leading retailers, surveyed 1,000 consumers to find out how often they used voucher codes when shopping online.

It found that at the start of 2015, 57% were using voucher codes at least occasionally, up from 48% a year earlier.

The biggest increase had come among frequent users. Some 17% of those polled said they now "always" used voucher codes, compared to 10% in 2014. And "regular" users had risen from 13% to 16% over the same period.

With one third of UK shoppers now falling into this frequent category, Voucherbox stated that they were "43% savvier than last year".

The proportion of occasional users remained steady at 24%, a one point decline on 2014, while that of non-users fell from 42% to 35%. The percentage of respondents professing total ignorance of the subject had also fallen, from 10% to 8%.

"Responding to this growth in consumer culture benefits both parties," said Shane Forster, UK country manager for Voucherbox.co.uk.

"Sales generated by the incentive of a discount are proven to drive significant extra revenue for retailers," he told The Drum.

Younger shoppers are most likely to look for a deal, the research found. Voucher code use has doubled since last year among consumers aged 18-24, going from a reported 32% to 63%, while the proportion of people aged 25-34 using voucher codes jumped to 68% from 40% last year.

A regional breakdown shows the biggest rise has come amongst Scottish consumers, with a 40% increase in voucher code usage over the previous year. Wales saw a 29% overall increase, followed by England (17%) and Northern Ireland (11%).

A quarter of online shoppers in the East Midlands region said they always use voucher codes, compared to none in the same category last year. Consumers in the North West seeking out codes each time they shop grew by 172%, to 23%.

Data sourced from Voucherbox, The Drum; additional content by Warc staff