Discounts, Offers Significantly Influence Customer Loyalty and The Purchase Journey 

Author: RetailMeNot

October 12, 2018

This post was contributed and sponsored by RetailMeNot.

The right offer at the right time can persuade a reluctant buyer to make a purchase, or a once-loyal shopper to switch brands. Today’s digital-savvy consumer pays attention to marketing messages throughout the shopping funnel, with savings influencing every decision they make. While the retail industry continues to evolve, one thing remains true for shoppers: discounts are still deeply significant throughout their shopping journey.

In an October 2018 commissioned study titled “Turbocharging Strategic Promotions: When and Where Deals Matter” conducted by Forrester Consulting for RetailMeNot, we evaluated the current state of discounts and offers throughout the consumer shopping journey. The study revealed that today’s shopping journey is often predicated on a coupon or discount sparking the intent to purchase. In fact, shoppers agree that discounts can influence where they shop (77%) and speed up the decision-making process (48%), even more so than good customer service and selection of products.

Here are three key takeaways from the study:

No. 1: Discounts play a role throughout entire shopping funnel. The days of filling a shopping cart online before searching out a discount have passed. Two-thirds of shoppers will either not shop without a discount or will look for discounts before they begin shopping. Additionally, more than half of shoppers (55%) have abandoned shopping carts because the cost was too high, and just under one-third (32%) say they have abandoned a shopping cart online because they found a discount with a different retailer.

No. 2: Ease and convenience are top of mind for consumers. Shoppers increasingly turn to streamlined channels that make finding discounts easier–in fact, 71% of shoppers want one savings destination for all of their discounts or offers. Tools like savings apps and websites have grown as destinations for consumers looking to find all of their deals in one place. Specifically, 38% of shoppers say they use savings apps today, a 28 percentage point increase from 2014. Savings websites are also experiencing steady usage growth, up 10 percentage points to 51% in 2018.

No. 3: Shoppers willing to exchange information for deals. “Ask, don’t track.” should be the motto for retailers and brands this year. Much of today’s personalization is based on intent signals or information that only provide a very narrow look at their customer’s journey. Retailers can better understand and engage with marketing to drive increased customer loyalty and revenue by layering in data that consumers are willing to share such as preferred products, hobbies and interests and favorite styles. For retailers looking to provide the most relevant, 1:1 deal messaging for their audience, all they need to do is simply ask the consumer what information they would like to share in order to have a more personalized shopping experience.

Learn more about the impact of discounts on consumer behavior, and download the complete study.