Cut-price consumers: how global customers prefer their discounts

YouGov
June 09, 2021, 8:30 AM UTC

Data from YouGov Profiles shows that, over the past six months, a significant portion of consumers in Australia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Mexico, and the US haven’t sought out any kind of discount method when shopping at all. In France, this is just 16% of the public – while Britain has twice as many who have been seemingly content to pay full price (32%).

 But this group are a minority.

Across each nation in our study, consumers are most likely to seek out some kind of deal – and the kind of deal they prefer varies heavily. In the US, for example, shoppers are disproportionately likely to have used online promo codes in the past six months (43%); a method favoured by just a third of their Mexican consumers (33%). You can’t necessarily expect much continental uniformity in Europe either: while French and German shoppers are both less likely to use online promo codes (21% France; 22% Germany, the former are twice as likely to seek out a promotional deal than the latter (51% vs. 24%). Germans, contrastingly, heavily favour discount cards (56%) over any other method.

Australians have a more even split in terms of their preferred deals: two in five have used online promo codes (39%), promotional deals (38%), or gift vouchers (38%) in the past six months, with discount cards coming in a very distant fourth (23%).

Beyond the bargain? Why people participate in promotions

If promotions are, in some markets, among the more popular forms of discount, YouGov Profiles data shows that, in Britain at least, not all consumers are motivated exclusively by money. While around a quarter say they like to get a good deal (28%), that they like to get something for nothing (27%), or that they’re motivated by the rewards (23%), there may be benefits in speaking to the consumer’s sense of fun.

A fifth (21%) say they have nothing to lose, 17% say they find promotions exciting, and one in ten (10%) say they like the experience of it. Catering to this audience – and making the experience as special as possible – as well as those with a more money-focused attitude could yield real benefits for brands.

Looking beyond the short-term, brands may also wish to rethink their loyalty schemes. Many consumers have a mercenary attitude when it comes to their top motivations: 14% of French consumers say they’re driven by discounts, 11% say they sign up to these programmes because of points, and 8% say they sign up for free products, services, and experiences.  But there’s also evidence that, if a brand makes an effort, it may be rewarded.

In France, for example, a quarter of consumers (26%) say they feel more emotionally connected to brands when they’re a member of these programmes, or that they’re more likely to recommend a brand when they have signed up (25%). Over a third (35%) say they’re more likely to spend extra with a brand that has a loyalty programme.

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