The Budget Shopper - US - December 2014
“Coupons are still an effective way of appealing to budget shoppers. Not only do they provide tangible value, but they can sway consumers to try products or stores they may not have otherwise considered Retailers should strive to make it easy and even fun for customers to use coupons, tailor them as much as possible to customers’ individual tastes, and reward them for telling others about savings they accrued.”
– Diana Smith, Senior Research & Apparel Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- What is the latest consumer sentiment regarding personal finances and the economy at large?
- Who are budget shoppers?
- Where do budget shoppers get their information?
For the first time since the recession, several positive macroeconomic factors are beginning to emerge such as higher consumer confidence, decreasing unemployment and poverty rates, and consumer spending on the rise. The US population is growing and greying, with Baby Boomers getting older and comprising more of the population as well as Hispanics who will comprise nearly 20% over the next few years. This is notable given that all minorities, and especially Hispanics, exhibit multiple budget shopping actions and are more likely to be extreme in their saving and shopping behaviors.
These positive indicators are not - and will not - translate into exponentially different or frivolous spending patterns, as consumers remain cautious and conservative, ready to prepare for the worst, should the worst reappear or manifest itself in a different way. Coupons are still used by more than half of shoppers, consumers are still deferring mid- to high-ticket purchases for a “little while longer,” and saving the exceptions for little splurges that involve things like an escape, relaxation, an indulgence, or family bonding time. Budget shoppers will actively research, seek out bargains, invest a lot of time in the process, and even go out of their way to ensure they stay within their means. For this reason, they should be relatively easy to find and reach; the challenge for retailers will be managing how to meet their customers’ demands for low price while still being mindful of the bottom line and their own financial state.
This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s The Budget Shopper – US, June 2012 report.
This report explores the shopping behavior and attitudes of budget shoppers. In particular the report tracks how budget shoppers’ shopping behaviors have changed from the peak of the recession (2008-09), immediately following the recession (2010), to recovery (2012) to today (2014).
For the purposes of this report, the term “budget shopper” refers to the degree to which consumers across a range of demographics/income groups assess the budgetary impact of their shopping and spending habits by weighing sales incentives and cost-savings behaviors against where they choose to shop and what they choose to purchase.
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* This is a sample representation of the report layout and does not reflect the research included in this report.
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