While historical big promotional days such as Winter Sales or Black Friday remain major drivers in steering sales, 41% of consumers have been spending less during these key events this year
Simon Kucher global study deep dives into consumers’ shifting shopping behavior and growing skepticism around loyalty programs and price communications
London, 16th September – While big promo days have historically played a significant role in shaping consumer purchasing behavior, Simon Kucher latest global study reveals that 41% of surveyed consumers have been spending less on promotional events likes of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Winter/Summer Sales. In contrast, lower-key local events and Back-to-School are gaining momentum with 31% of respondents spending more on such promotions.
According to the study, consumer discount expectations do not match reality. Consumers prefer to benefit from a discount that is 11% higher than the actual deals available to them. Moreover, despite continuous investments from high brands and retailers, one third (33%) are skeptical about getting access to higher and more appealing discounts through loyalty programs. This indicates a global need for brands to rethink customer loyalty strategy. Such consumer uncertainty is particularly high among European shoppers (42%), whereas customers based in Asia are more confident about receiving discount benefits from loyalty programs.
The growing skepticism is also present among consumers when it comes to brands’ promotional communications. The study shows that nearly a third (27%) of consumers do not trust starting shelf prices, as promoted by brands. Therefore, newly enacted laws such as Omnibus set out a clear framework on how brands can communicate on strike prices.
While the study shows that consumer preference towards promotional mechanics certainly varies across regions and product categories, consumers are more driven by immediate cash discounts for small domestic appliances or holiday booking, and by percentage discounts for clothing & shoes, accessories, and beauty products categories.
Online shopping is the preferred channel across all the respondents (53%), who shop during promotional periods. Promotions remain a strong traffic driver, with 64% of respondents searching for a good deal when visiting a store or website. This illustrates that brands are losing power over influencing consumer choices, with just over one in two shoppers selecting their favorite brand over a promotion.
Promotions remain a major driver to steer volumes and attract consumers, but reassurance, surprise and differentiation are tomorrow’s key challenges for brands and retail partners to guarantee financial efficiency.
Complete study findings are available upon request, including country splits.
*About the Study:
Big Promotional Days Study was conducted online between July and August 2022 by the global consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners. 20,500 consumers from across 23 countries were surveyed on consumer purchasing behavior during key promotional periods.
Simon-Kucher & Partners, Strategy & Marketing Consultants:
Simon-Kucher & Partners is a global consulting firm specializing in TopLine Power®. We help our clients achieve growth and profit targets by applying practical, evidence-based strategies. Simon-Kucher & Partners is regarded as the world’s leading pricing advisor and thought leader. The consultancy has more than 1,700 employees in 42 offices worldwide.
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