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90% of shoppers now adopting more cautious buying strategies

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90% of UK households are now undertaking more prudent buying strategies to cope in reaction to the recession, an increase of four percent since January 2009, according to a new report from shopper behaviour specialists Shoppercentric.

Prudent activities include making things go further, being more careful about avoiding waste and avoiding shops known to be more expensive or upmarket. And, for 38% of consumers, it also means using the internet to source shopping vouchers.

Consumers are now adopting four different shopping strategies, says Shoppercentric:

  • Being prudent — 90% are saving by avoiding waste, planning and making more from scratch.

  • Economising — 88% are buying more own-label products, are more aware of pricing and promotions and are buying smaller packs to save money.

  • Avoidance tactics — 88% percent are not giving into temptation and are ignoring the more expensive shops.

  • Active shopping — 83% use shops they’ve not been to before, are using local shops to save petrol, checking pricing online and going where the best deals exist.

The kind of promotions shoppers are paying most attention to are also identified in the report:

  • 79% cite ‘buy one get one free’ offers

  • 69% are looking for money-off single items

  • 53% percent want ‘3 for 2’ offers

  • 47% are using vouchers and coupons

  • 36% look for ‘2 for £x’ offers

  • 21% seek out groups of products such as ‘dine in for £10’ meal deals.

  • 11% are attracted to offers which include free gifts, competitions and collectables

  • 8% say they aren’t attracted to any promotions.

The research found the most popular voucher to be from a loyalty card mailshot or instore terminal (53%), with 58% saying they are using this source more than they did last year. In second place was a voucher from a product pack with 35%.

The biggest change, though, was in the number of vouchers downloaded from the internet — with 38% using this source and 78% percent of those saying that their downloads had increased in the last year.

“The research suggests vouchers have particular appeal among those who are having to make savings in household spending because of the recession; ie those with the greater need are more open to make the effort involved in saving and redeeming vouchers,” says Danielle Pinnington, managing director at Shoppercentric. “We are also hearing from clients that businesses who have already turned their attention to vouchers are seeing an increase in interest among shoppers.”

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