OPERATIONS

Parago study: Shoppers seek deals

BY Marianne Wilson

Lewisville, Texas – The hunt for the deal has grown significantly in the past year and is now a behavior consistently seen in shoppers from all demographics, according to an annual shopper study by Parago.

The report, “Let’s Make a Deal,” revealed that deal seeking is no longer just trendy or born completely out of necessity. Shoppers not only are continuing to seek out the very best prices, but are willing to go out of their way to save even a little bit.

Consumers are rapidly adopting all forms of deal seeking — especially rebates — through mobile, social and online platforms. Searching for and finding the best value is a practice now cemented in consumers’ path to purchase due to several factors: greater price sensitivity, reduced perceived spending power, advancing mobile technology and easier access to deals online and via social networks.

Key findings from the research include:

Price sensitivity is up significantly: Nearly three in four shoppers are more sensitive to price this year due in part to 42% of those surveyed feeling their purchasing power has decreased.

Deal-seeking behavior continues to grow: Before shopping, 80% of consumers look for deals, rebates and the best prices; only 69% did so in 2012.

The majority prefer rebates to instant discounts: All income levels believe rebates are easy to complete and worth the extra step for the deeper savings earned vs. instant discount offers.

Mobile deal finding jumps: This year, 46% of consumers shop where they can use their smartphones to check prices; only 11% did so last year.

Demand for deals in social networks: 57% of consumers would like access to exclusive values via social media.

“Finding deals is emotionally rewarding to consumers, as it makes them feel as though they are doing everything they can to maintain their standard of living,” said Rodney Mason, CMO of Parago, a global incentives and engagement company.

The study, Mason added, sends a clear message to marketers: Shoppers’ appetites for deals and discounts can be fulfilled in a variety of ways, especially via mobile and social as well as rebates, which consumers understand offer deeper discounts than other deals.

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OPERATIONS

Regulation leads public retailer risks

BY Staff Writer

Chicago – Almost all of the top 100 public retailers (97%) consider federal, state and local regulations as a risk factor, according to a new analysis of 10K filings from the largest 100 U.S. public retailers by BDO, LLP. Only general economic conditions (100%) was cited by more retailers, and this marks the highest percentage of public retailers citing regulations as a risk in the seven years BDO has been performing this analysis.

Other top concerns listed in the “BDO RiskFactor Report for Retail Businesses” include U.S. and foreign vendor/supplier concerns (95%), competition and consolidation in the retail sector (94%), implementation and maintenance of IT systems (89%) and labor (86%).

Doug Hart, partner in the Retail and Consumer Products practice at BDO USA, LLP, said that data protection has become critical considering how much sensitive information retailers collect through numerous touchpoints. “The increasing reliance on cloud computing solutions to process and store this data adds another dimension to this security and privacy risk,” said Hart.

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Smashburger plans expansion, possible IPO

BY Staff Writer

Denver— Fast food hamburger chain Smashburger plans to more than double its nationwide store count to about 500 in the next few years. The chain currently runs about 200 locations across the U.S.

According to public comments from Smashburger chariman and CEO Dave Prokupek, the chain may also launch a U.S. IPO at some point in the future. “The idea of good food fast isn’t going to go away anytime soon,” said Prokupek.

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