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Shoppers are more cost-conscious than they were a year ago and their search for value is changing the way they approach the shopping experience.
That’s according to a new study by MarketTools Inc., which revealed that 63 percent of shoppers have changed their shopping habits to stretch their grocery budgets. To save money on grocery bills, respondents report that they buy items with coupons (80 percent), buy store brands instead of name brands (62 percent), use store loyalty cards that offer discounts (62 percent), buy items only when they are on sale (58 percent) and buy more large-sized products (43 percent).
In the search for bargains, shoppers report that the reason they purchase store brands is to get better value (59 percent of respondents) and a more attractive price (56 percent). Additionally, 67 percent of respondents say they use coupons for at least half of their shopping trips, and 49 percent say they use coupons on every, or nearly every, shopping trip. However, many shoppers don't see coupons as an incentive to try something new: nearly half of respondents (49 percent) say that a coupon would not prompt them to buy an item they don't normally buy.
“Both retailers and manufacturers are coming to us in increasing numbers for help in understanding the purchase decision processes of these value-driven consumers,” said Ivan Rocabado, senior VP at MarketTools. “Our shopper research solutions deliver actionable insight into the factors that go into shoppers’ conscious and subconscious decision-making processes, insights that give marketers strategies to maximize a product's value to the consumer, and ultimately win the sale.”
Additional highlights from the MarketTools study:
- Coupon use is most prevalent in higher-income households: Of respondents with annual household incomes of $75,000 or more, 98 percent report that they use coupons to save money on grocery bills, with 49 percent saying that they use coupons on every, or nearly every, shopping trip. In contrast, only 38 percent of respondents with annual household incomes less than $25,000 report using coupons on every, or nearly every, shopping trip.
- Coupon use cuts across gender: 62 percent of men and 71 percent of women responding to the survey report using coupons for at least half of their shopping trips.
- A large number of shoppers still rely on old-fashioned paper coupons, clipping them from newspapers or newspaper coupon inserts (72 percent), receiving them in the mail (60 percent), and getting them from store circulars (52 percent). In contrast, fewer shoppers get their coupons from electronic or online sources such as e-mail (37 percent); coupon websites (36 percent), manufacturers’ websites (22 percent) and via Facebook (10 percent). Despite the buzz around daily deal sites, only 36 percent of respondents subscribe to a deal site such as Groupon or LivingSocial.
- 70 percent of daily deal shoppers have made one or more purchases from a daily deal site in the last six months. Most of those purchases were for discounts on dining out (20 percent), services (18 percent), and activities and entertainment (18 percent); grocery items made up only 13 percent of daily deal purchases.
MarketTools conducted the study in February, using its Survey Manager online survey solution to survey American adults, age 21 and older, who report shopping for at least half of their household’s groceries.
San Francisco-based MarketTools is the leading provider of software and services for market research and customer feedback.