Digital tools keep gaining influence with shoppers

A new report from Acosta Sales & Marketing quantifies the extent to which technology usage among shoppers is growing and traditional vehicles are losing their impact to influence retail trips and spending behavior.

Among the findings in the Spring 2013 edition of Acosta’s "The Why Behind the Buy," report was the revelation that Web sites have overtaken coupons clipped from newspapers and magazines in terms of influence. The regular usage of Web sites as a pre-trip planning tool and spending influencer now stands at 36% while usage of traditional coupons declined to 33% from 39% during the same time period the prior year.

Survey respondents indicated they are make greater use of all types of digital tools, with the exception of email, for planning shopping trips and deciding what to buy. Conversely, store flyers and coupons distributed via flyers have become less impactful.

In addition, 70% of those surveyed said they are on Facebook where they regularly engage with brands and retailers. Nearly half said they visited Facebook pages monthly with the primary motivation for doing so being access to coupons and special offers.

The research also documented other digital behaviors that are on the rise. For example, 28% of those surveyed said they now regularly print coupons from manufacturers Web sites, up from 24% last year. The number of people who regularly sign up to receive information about products and retailers increased to 21% from 17%. The number of people who regularly sign up for contests or games increased to 19% from 15%.

These aren’t huge increases, but they are indicative of the larger digital trend evident throughout all aspects of retail.


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