Understand what consumers want from retail promotions in the US and why with this comprehensive report. This report examines the current retail landscape from a market and consumer perspective, what the top promotions are for consumers and how consumers usually find out about them, and strategies for brands and retailers to best respond to current consumer demands. Read on to discover our insights.

Retail Market: Consumer Overview

Inflation has forced consumers to prioritize essential purchases, leading to an increase in value-seeking and deal-seeking behaviors. Retail sales are expected to grow moderately despite this, but consumers are likely to switch stores/brands, purchase smaller quantities, postpone purchases, and leverage BNPL payment plans in order to save money (see our State of Retail Market Report).

Retail Promotions: Consumer Trends

Consumers are savvy shoppers who are always looking for ways to save money. Common types of deals they look for include everyday sales, promotional events, and percentage-off discounts. Meanwhile, emails and traditional advertisements are the top sources for finding out about these events, but digital channels such as social media are important for reaching younger shoppers.

  • Top retail promotion for consumers: Percentage-off discounts are the most desirable retail promotion for consumers, and appeal to 56%.
  • Emails are still going strong: 43% of consumers find out about promotions via emails from brands/retailers, giving it a slight edge on traditional advertisements.

Retail Promotions: Opportunities for Brands and Retailers

To stand out from the competition and appeal to consumers that are increasingly seeking value in their retail purchases, brands and retailers can leverage personalization. By utilizing customer profile data and past purchase information, they can create offers that are tailored to individual preferences and thus more likely to be accepted and appreciated.

It’s also important to note that promotions aren’t just about the money. Shopping during sales and promotional events can provide shoppers with a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Moreover, retailers and brands can use promotions to connect with consumers through shared values, such as supporting a specific cause or organization as part of a promotion.

Find a comprehensive list of opportunities and competitive strategies for brands and retailers in the full report. Or, take a look at our extensive retail market research.

Quickly Understand

  • The impact of macroeconomic factors on sales and promotional events.
  • Types of sales events which consumers shop.
  • Items purchased during sales and promotional events.
  • Types of promotions consumers are attracted to.
  • Sources where consumers find out about sales and promotional events.
  • Drivers to shop during sales and promotional events.
  • Attitudes toward sales and promotional events.

Companies and Products Covered in this Report

This Report explores consumers’ behaviors and attitudes towards various types of retail promotions (eg percent off, BOGO deals) and events (eg everyday sales, major sales events, smaller sales events). Brands covered include Amazon, Walmart, Uniqlo, Castlery, Alohas, and more.

Expert Analysis from a Retail Specialist

This report, written by Marisa Ortega, a leading retail and eCommerce analyst, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in retail promotions and add expert context to the numbers.

Consumers are generally mindful of their financial resources when making purchasing decisions. However, the current inflationary climate and economic uncertainty are further emphasizing this behavior and leading consumers to actively seek out ways to maximize the value of their purchases. To remain competitive, brands and retailers must communicate their sales and promotions effectively and create personalized offerings that are tailored to consumers’ needs and preferences.

Marisa Ortega - Retail and eCommerce Analyst
Marisa Ortega
Retail & eCommerce Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Consumer Trends
                  • Competitive Strategies
                    • Re-engage and remind consumers of limited time promotions
                      • Figure 1: Uniqlo reminds consumers of coupon’s expiration
                    • Drive loyalty through membership programs and customer rewards
                      • Figure 2: Walmart discounts its membership ahead of holiday shopping
                    • Create a sense of urgency to drive purchases
                      • Figure 3: Castlery stimulates urgency with countdown to limited time sale
                    • Leverage promotional events to appeal to consumers’ interest in sustainability
                      • Figure 4: Alohas stands out by not participating in promotional events
                    • Market Predictions
                      • Figure 5: Retail promotions outlook, 2023-28
                    • Opportunities and challenges
                      • Create personalized sales and promotional events that are tailored to customers’ individual needs and preferences
                        • Leverage sales and promotional events to reward consumers for their purchases
                          • Promotions are not only about the money
                            • Create a sense of urgency to incentivize consumers to shop
                            • Market Factors

                              • While the economy is showing signs of progress, value and deal-seeking behaviors remain
                                • What we’re seeing
                                  • What it means
                                    • Figure 6: Consumer Price Index change from previous year, 2020-22
                                  • Brands and retailers face challenges due to excess inventory
                                    • What we’re seeing
                                      • What it means
                                        • Digital channels are a powerful tool to sales and promotions
                                          • What it means
                                            • Encourage consumers to not shop, or at least shop more responsibly
                                              • What it means
                                              • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                                                • Re-engage and remind consumers of limited time promotions
                                                  • Figure 7: Uniqlo reminds consumers of coupon’s expiration
                                                • Drive loyalty through membership programs and customer rewards
                                                  • Figure 8: Walmart discounts its membership ahead of holiday shopping
                                                • Create a sense of urgency to drive purchases
                                                  • Figure 9: Castlery generates a sense of urgency with countdown to limited time sale
                                                • Leverage promotional events to appeal to consumer interest in sustainability
                                                  • Figure 10: Alohas stands out from competition by not participating on promotional events
                                              • The Retail Promotions Consumer – Fast Facts

                                                • Types of Sales Events Shopped

                                                  • Sales events are essential to the marketing calendar
                                                    • Figure 11: Types of sales events shopped, by gender, 2022
                                                  • Younger consumers lean on sales/promotional events to stretch their dollars
                                                    • Figure 12: Types of sales events shopped, by age, 2022
                                                • Items Purchased

                                                  • Consumers shop as needs arise but also when value is perceived
                                                    • Figure 13: Items purchased during sales/promotional events, 2022
                                                    • Figure 14: Theory entices consumers to shop its end of season sale
                                                  • Younger consumers take advantage of promotions to update their gadgets
                                                    • Figure 15: Items purchased during sales/promotional events , by gender and age, 2022
                                                  • Households have individual and collective needs
                                                    • Figure 16: Items purchased during sales/promotional events, by household size, 2022
                                                • Types of Promotions

                                                  • The perception of value varies across promotional offers
                                                    • Figure 17: Types of promotions, by age, 2022
                                                    • Figure 18: ColourPop rewards subscribers
                                                  • Multicultural consumers seek convenient promotions
                                                    • Figure 19: Types of promotions, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
                                                • Information Sources

                                                  • Multi-channel marketing best drives sales and promotional events awareness
                                                      • Figure 20: Sources of information about sales and promotional events, by gender, 2022
                                                      • Figure 21: TURF Analysis of sources of information about sales and promotional events, 2022
                                                    • A digital divide requires various approaches to reach a wider audience
                                                        • Figure 22: Sources of information about sales and promotional events, by age and parental status, 2022
                                                        • Figure 23: e.l.f tests BeReal to promote the brand and further connect with younger consumers
                                                    • Shopping Drivers

                                                      • Consumers don’t want to miss out on a good deal
                                                        • Figure 24: Reasons for shopping sales and promotional events, 2022
                                                      • Women and parents make unplanned purchases due to sales and promotional events
                                                        • Figure 25: Reasons for shopping sales and promotional events, by gender and parental status, 2022
                                                      • Sales and promotional events help younger consumers rationalize spending on their desires, and older consumers on their basic needs
                                                        • Figure 26: Reasons for shopping sales and promotional events, by age, 2022
                                                        • Figure 27: Saks Fifth Avenue promotes self-gifting for Valentine’s Day
                                                    • Attitudes toward Retail Promotions

                                                      • Getting a good deal makes consumers happy
                                                          • Figure 28: Attitudes toward sales and retail promotions, 2022
                                                        • Women take pride in finding deals
                                                          • Figure 29: Attitudes toward sales and retail promotions, by gender, 2022
                                                          • Figure 30: Bombas highlights its promotion paired with CSR efforts
                                                        • Sales events engage younger consumers
                                                          • Figure 31: Attitudes toward sales and retail promotions, by age, 2022
                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                        • Data sources
                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                            • Consumer qualitative research
                                                              • Marketing creative
                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                    • Terms
                                                                    • Appendix – The Market

                                                                        • Figure 32: Consumer Sentiment Index, 2010-2023
                                                                    • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                        • Figure 33: Median household income, by age of householder, 2020
                                                                        • Figure 34: Items Purchased, by financial situation, 2022
                                                                        • Figure 35: Types of promotions, by gender, 2022
                                                                        • Figure 36: Births, by age of mother, 2021*
                                                                        • Figure 37: Purchasing channel, 2022
                                                                        • Figure 38: Shopping Styles – Any agree, September 2021- October 2022
                                                                        • Figure 39: Shopping Attitudes – Any agree, September 2021- October 2022
                                                                      • Online discussion panel
                                                                        • Definition of a good deal
                                                                          • Shopping channel
                                                                            • Coupons
                                                                              • Cost per unit

                                                                              About the report

                                                                              This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


                                                                              Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


                                                                              Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


                                                                              Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


                                                                              Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

                                                                              Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

                                                                              Click to show report

                                                                              Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Also, our reports come in PDF, Powerpoint, Word and Excel Databook formats.

                                                                              Trusted by companies. Big and small.

                                                                              Bell Logo - Mintel client
                                                                              Boots Logo - Mintel Client
                                                                              Kelloggs Logo - Mintel client
                                                                              Samsung Logo - Mintel client
                                                                              Nike Logo - Mintel client
                                                                              Walgreens Logo - Mintel client

                                                                              Want to speak to us directly?

                                                                              Contact us on via phone or fill out a form with your enquiry.

                                                                              Contact Us