Wit inflation at its highest since 1992, redundancies rife, salaries stagnant and the cost of fuel and food ever rising, consumers are having to become strategic to survive.
Gone is the stigma attached to offers and discounts. Now the act of saving money or gaining something free, whenever and wherever feasible, is a triumph displayed by today’s shopper like a metaphorical badge of honour. While a premature Christmas launch (MW last week) may be an irritating reminder of the expense, if it brings with it an array of promotions, discounts and vouchers and the new savvy shopper will be sure to seize these.
To stay ahead of the game, brands and retailers must align their strategies and adapt accordingly. This may mean starting festive promotions earlier or offering a free, memorable experience with a purchase.
And when shoppers feel they can release the purse strings, they will continue to bargain-hunt, cash in the vouchers and look for value added. Online shopping, viral marketing, downloading and the recession have together created a significant, long-lasting change in consumer behaviour.