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Nearly two thirds of Americans coupon-browsed instead of window-browsed during the 2013 holiday seasons, while only 6% didn't do any in-store shopping at all, according to a survey conducted by retail Big Data technology startup Synqera. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

The survey found that US consumers still prefer promotional content and coupons from traditional print media (e.g. magazines, newsletters, flyers or newspapers) at 75%, those found online (72%), or those received after a purchase (62%) for future shopping.

However, 45% said they would want to get this content at various locations throughout the bricks-and-mortar store. The challenge for bricks-and-mortar retailers is capturing the customer's interest, considering that 85% of consumers said they prefer personalised offers reflecting their past shopping behaviour.

"There's a clear indication within today's consumer behaviour that the current in-store promotional experience isn't capturing the attention of the omnichannel shopper," noted Filipp Shubin, COO for Synqera. "Consumers are asking for more personalised retail experiences that are relevant to their shopping needs, especially across holidays, and they'll shop at the stores that promote their products accordingly."

Other key findings from the survey included:

  • Respondents earning US$80,000 - US$100,000 per year were most likely to use an omnichannel approach to shopping, using their mobile devices, online and in-store to make purchases;
  • 81% said they would not search for promotions and coupons on a retailer or grocer's mobile app and 73% would not want them sent directly to their mobile device;
  • 57% said they had signed up for a retailer or grocer's rewards or loyalty programme during the past year in order to get a discount;
  • 67% of shoppers prefer receiving a coupon for groceries, while only 14% would be interested in cosmetics (bath and body products), toiletries and beauty product coupons;
  • Consumers are most interested in promotions and coupons for grocery and clothing, and least interested in ones for pet supplies or furniture;
  • Almost five times more consumers want coupons on groceries than on clothing, and ten times more interest in groceries than household goods; however, they prefer cosmetic promotions and coupons over ones for pet supplies;
  • Specifically asked about grocery store shopping, almost half (45%) would have changed their holiday menu(s) if their grocery store promoted holiday-themed recipes or themed meal ideas including items within the store.

Outside of the apparent promotional disconnect that consumers are feeling with retailers, 63% of price-aware US shoppers said their in-store holiday shopping experience could have been improved, especially for those under the age of 45. More than half of those that wanted improvement said that they would consider using personalised coupons and more information about products.

Importantly, almost all (86%) said they would have purchased a less expensive item that was similar in appearance and quality to one they were originally looking for, if they had been made aware of it.

"The current decade's retail pain point may have never been about showrooming. Retailers still saw 2013 sales fall considerably for the traditional holiday promotion season," concluded Shubin. "The cost-conscious consumer wants to be made aware of relevant products the retailer has at all times, and especially during holiday seasons when their expenses tend to be highest."