The search for offers and discounts plays a critical role in consumers' incremental purchase decisions, according to a survey from RetailMeNot, conducted by Kelton Global, which found that such deals have a substantial influence on customer acquisition, brand loyalty and brand perception among consumers. This article is copyright 2018 The Best Customer Guide.

The survey found that two-thirds of consumers have made a purchase they weren't originally planning to make solely based on finding a coupon or discount; additionally, 80% said they feel encouraged to make a first-time purchase with a brand that is new to them if they found an offer or discount. Nearly all consumers (93%) say they would make a repeat purchase with a retailer that offered good discounts, and almost half (48%) said they will avoid brands that do not provide offers.

A key finding from the RetailMeNot survey shows the presence of offers and discounts does not diminish the value of a brand; in fact, it far outweighs other elements of consumer satisfaction. More than 65% of consumers said that getting a great offer for a product is more important to them than great customer service, and only 7% said that deals and offers influenced them to have a more negative perception of a brand or retailer.

The survey also reveals the significant impact of deals and offers on purchase decisions across the entire consumer shopping journey:

  • 74% of Americans say offers are a top factor when deciding where and what to buy online.
  • 81% of Americans say finding a great offer or discount is on their mind throughout the entire purchase journey.
  • Nearly all consumers (94%) search for a deal or offer when shopping online.
  • 62% of consumers agree they cannot complete a purchase before searching for an offer.
  • 75% of Americans who have abandoned an online shopping cart have done so due to issues with cost.

Millennials: A Generation of Savers
As the millennial generation ages, more often than not, they are observed to have better saving habits than their parents. In particular, millennials surveyed by RetailMeNot reported they are almost always looking to cut costs while shopping.

Just over half (53%) of millennials aged 18 to 34 say they always search for a deal before making a purchase online, versus only 40% of baby boomers aged 55+. In fact, 69% of millennials say they cannot complete a purchase without first searching for a deal or offer.

Nearly all millennials (88%) say that finding an offer for a brand or retailer that is new to them would encourage a first-time purchase. Some 62% of millennials who use the RetailMeNot app do so while shopping in a brick-and-mortar store.

Connecting With Cost-Conscious Consumers
For retailers looking to connect with cost-conscious consumers, partnering with shopper companion sites like RetailMeNot will help extend the reach of promotions. Deal-seekers who use RetailMeNot leverage the digital tools in a variety of ways:

  • Just over half (53%) visit before they begin shopping or browsing online.
  • Over one-third (38%) use before they decide to step foot into a physical retail location.
  • About half (46%) of consumers who are aware of the RetailMeNot app use it before entering a store.
  • 66% of consumers who use the RetailMeNot website do so while shopping or browsing online.
  • Discounts and offers are a requirement for brands looking to engage all customers along the shopping journey.

"Today's consumers want to feel as if they have spent their money in the smartest way possible, and to do so, they leverage deals throughout the shopping journey, including when deciding where to shop and what to buy," said Marissa Tarleton, chief marketing officer at RetailMeNot. "These discounts and promotional levers continue to be critical for retailers who want to reach new shoppers to drive incremental sales."

The RetailMeNot Incrementality Study was a 10-minute online survey fielded by Kelton Global Research between March 16th and March 23rd, 2018. During that time, 1,018 interviews were captured among nationally representative Americans ages 18+ on their online shopping habits and preferences.