Rebates to Remain Key Marketing Tool

Nobody likes to trade down, especially when it comes to their standard of living. The recent cashbackrecession pinched the budgets of more consumers than any other downturn in recent history. To preserve their quality of life, consumers turned to deals and rebates, and despite the improving economy, most shoppers show little interest in giving up their desire for obtaining goods and services at reduced prices.

The top level findings of Parago’s 2013 Shopper Behavior study show:

  • 75% of consumers remain price sensitive
  • 80% of consumers look for deals before they go shopping
  • 46% of consumers are consciously shopping in venues where they can price-​check with their smartphones

Price remains 3 times more important than other criteria such as quality, brand, loyalty program, or store.  Part of the fixation on price is linked to a feeling of reduced purchasing power. At least 42% of consumers feel their money is worth less this year than last year. However, for consumers with annual incomes exceeding $200,000, brand (38%) overtakes price (17%) as the key decision point.

The number of consumers looking through print ads and circulars for deals has jumped from 61% to 71% in the past year. While only 29% of surveyed shoppers used online resources to find discounts in the past, this year 59% are doing so. At least 50% of these shoppers are also willing to participate in social media contests to obtain rebates.

Consumers also opt for more lucrative rebates as opposed to instant cash back. For example, 74% of consumers are willing to wait for a $30 rebate compared to  26% who want an $18 instant discount. Shoppers don’t mind driving to get deals which means marketers should pay attention to where they place promotions. 86% of consumers in the $100,000 to $200,000 annual income bracket will drive 5–10 minutes to get $10 off a $50 product.

For all income levels, electronics products and technology items are the categories in which consumers most want to see rebates and discounts. In higher income households, $200,000+, travel discounts are also most important.

Have you been using rebates to drive sales? Do you notice a higher consumer interest in rebates this year?

[Source: Let’s Make a Deal. Parago​.com. 2013. Web. 30 May 2013] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.