Major Appliances Shoppers Expect Discounts

BY Courtney Huckabay
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76% of baby boomers will not pay full price when shopping for home electronics, major appliances, furniture, smartphones and vehicles, according to the first in a series of reports by First Insight, a technology company transforming how leading retailers make product investment and pricing decisions. The survey found that widespread discounting by department stores and mass merchants was significantly influencing the expectations of discounts when consumers shop in other product categories. Expectations were similar across genders but varied significantly by age, with baby boomers expecting deeper discounts than millennials and Gen-Xers.

The results of this survey indicate that the rampant discounting that has become the norm in department stores and mass merchants has had a clear impact on consumers and the way they now consider purchases in every aspect of their lives,” said Greg Petro, CEO and Founder of First Insight. “In categories ranging from home electronics to automobiles, a vast majority of Baby Boomers and Gen-​Xers are less likely to consider purchasing at full price, with Millennials less impacted by discounts overall. This is an incredibly useful finding, and retailers need to be aware of these shifting expectations within their target audiences in order to compete, while still maximizing profits and sales. It’s a delicate balance.”

Major appliances retailers should be aware of these consumer attitudes while marketing to the 17% of Americans planning to buy major appliances for their kitchen, and the 11% shopping for major appliances for their laundry rooms, according to new data from the AudienceSCAN survey.

Significant findings of the major appliances survey include:

Today's Consumers Expect Discounts Every Time They Shop

90% of all consumers surveyed acknowledged that discounts in department stores and mass merchants significantly influenced, or somewhat influenced, their expectations for discounts in home electronics. Similar expectations were shared by consumers shopping for home appliances (88%), furniture (86%), smartphones (83%) and vehicles (80%).

Baby Boomers Are Least Likely to Pay Full Price; Discounts Have Less Impact on Millennials

According to the findings, the vast majority of Baby Boomers surveyed expect some level of discount in order to consider a purchase. Across every category including vehicles, smartphones, furniture, and home appliances, more than 70 percent of Baby Boomers said they would ‘definitely not’ or ‘probably not’ purchase an item in these categories at full price, with an even higher 79 percent stating a discount would likely be necessary when purchasing home electronics.

The new AudienceSCAN survey found 25% of Major Appliance Shoppers fall into the Baby Boomer generation, but 28% are millennials.

Millennials, however, indicated that discounting may have a reduced effect on purchase decisions. Significantly less than half of Millennials stated they would ‘definitely not’ or ‘probably not’ buy vehicles (39%), furniture (40%), home appliances (42%) and home electronics (41%) at full price. Only 35 percent would be less likely to buy a smartphone at full price. Millennials continue to be avid shoppers, however, with 66 percent of Millennials surveyed planning on buying a smartphone and 65 percent planning on buying home electronics in the next twelve months.

Gender Doesn't Impact Expectations for Discounts

Somewhat surprisingly, across every category, men and women largely shared the same or similar response in terms of how discounts from department stores and mass merchants are impacting expectations for discounts in other categories. For example, eighty-​nine percent of women stated discounts have had an impact on their purchase decision in furniture, versus eighty-​four percent of men — the widest gap. Women showed only a slightly higher impact (one to three percentage points) in all other categories but smartphones, where 83 percent of both men and women felt there was an impact.

Appliance sellers should consider that 48% of Major Appliances Shoppers searched the web for coupons or discount codes in the past 30 days.

Deepest Discounts Expected in Electronics, Home Appliances and Furniture

Roughly 80 percent of all respondents reported they would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ buy a product that met their needs at the deepest discounts suggested by the study in categories of home electronics, home appliances and furniture. However, deep discounts showed a significantly lower impact on purchase decisions surrounding smartphones and vehicles with only 66 percent and 55 percent of respondents saying they’d definitely or probably buy these products if deeply discounted, respectively.

Appliance stores can advertise discounts through TV to best reach shoppers. The new AudienceSCAN survey results report 46% of Major Appliance Shoppers took action after watching television commercials in the past month.

Discount rates were selected based on discounts commonly observed within each category, with deep discounts in home electronics, home appliances and furniture at 40 percent, smartphones at 20 percent and vehicles at 15 percent.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.