Could we finally be on the road to economic recovery? The National Retail Federation has just issued a forecast predicting that families will spend about 10 percent more on back-to-school items this year than they did in 2009. More importantly for online retailers, the NRF survey found that 31 percent of those polled said they expect to shop online for back-to-school in 2010. That’s up from 22 percent last year.
Despite these positive signs, it’s clear that shoppers are still highly value-conscious. The NRF found that more than 71 percent of consumers plan to shop at discount stores, and 44 percent plan to buy store labels or genetic brands this year, up from 42 percent in 2009.
Does this commitment to thrift translate from the offline world to online shopping habits? According to a study recently commissioned by Offers.com, online consumers are lagging behind those who shop offline. In its survey, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, Offers.com found that despite the wider variety of money-saving offers, and the greater number of discounts available online, more than half (59 percent) of frequent shoppers are not regularly seeking out online coupons or deals. In addition, the survey found that while offline coupon redemption has increased by more than 25 percent since 2008, nearly 75 percent of all consumers don’t look for online coupons or deals.
For online retailers, the message is clear – consumers are frugal, but they haven’t yet gotten the message that value can be found online just as much, if not more, than it does in the “brick and mortar” world. With just one in seven online shoppers “always” seeking out online coupons, this consumer research proves that even the savviest online shoppers are leaving money on the table.
In order to entice consumers into taking advantage of online savings, Steve Schaffer, founder and CEO of Offers.com (and recent recipient of the LinkShare Golden Link Award for Performance Marketing’s Most Vocal Advocate) recommends the following:
- Aggregate the best online coupons, coupon codes, deals and offers into one site – saving consumers time searching various sites for available offers or having to keep track of offers from multiple stores.
- Ensure the site easy to search, making it easy for consumers to find the best offer for their needs.
- Make the site content–rich, with side-by-side comparisons, reviews and savings tips from shopping and money-saving experts.
If you have any additional advice on how to increase the popularity of online discounts, please feel free to add your thoughts below.
- Scott Allan, Senior Director of Marketing