Online discounts are likely to play a big role this holiday. Should you offer them?
- According to a new study by Shopper.com, Americans spend $3,851 annually online, while Brits spend $4,658.
- More than 95% of American and 87% of British customers said they've used an online coupon at least once.
- Americans are apparently thriftier than shoppers across the pond, as data suggests they spend 13 million hours a week searching for coupons, compared with the U.K.'s 2 million per week.
Shopping online can be a stress-free method of getting exactly what you need for the holiday season. Items ship directly to you, purchases are instantaneous, and you can often find some of the best deals out there. While you could always find even better deals if you kept searching, a new study suggests there's a special subset of internet shopper that any online retail business should be aware of.
Dubbed "super shoppers" in the latest Shopper.com study, these online retail aficionados shop online at least once per week and search for coupon codes for nearly every transaction. They not only hunt down the lowest sticker price, but they also commit significant time to finding discount codes for even more savings. Researchers conducting the study surveyed more than 1,200 American and British shoppers aged 18 to 70 in July 2019 to find out how these digital bargain hunters operate.
Leading into the end of this year, both the U.S. and the U.K. ranked in the top five largest e-commerce economies in the world, outranked only by China. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, American shoppers spending more than $3,800 and British shoppers spending £3,827 ($4,658) per year in online purchases. To drive those points home, Shopper.com found that the average American makes 52 online purchases a year and the average British shopper makes 57 online purchases.
With such a huge online shopping audience that's ready and willing to spend money if the deal is right, there's likely no better time for your small business to take advantage of the allure of online coupons.
Online shoppers are on the prowl for savings
Everyone wants to feel like they've found a great deal on something they want. With countless online retailers vying to make a sale, customers today understand that they have the edge in an online transaction, since a different retailer may have a better price and it only takes a few clicks to get there.
Shoppers looking for savings often search for coupon codes. According to the survey, 95.4% of Americans and 86.9% of British shoppers polled said they'd used an online coupon at least once. Additionally, 28.6% of respondents told researchers that they search for an online coupon code nearly every time they buy something online.
According to researchers, Americans spend upward of 13 million hours a week searching for online coupon codes. That figure dwarfs the 2 million hours per week that Brits spend searching for coupons, but researchers found that both groups come up empty most of the time. In an effort to use their time more effectively, 30% of American and 15% of British shoppers use a browser extension like Honey to automatically search for and apply coupons.
Considering that Americans spent more than $500 billion on online purchases last year and 1 in 5 pounds spent in the U.K. were spent online, the "super shopper" demographic has the potential to bring in serious revenue to any small business that can cater to their habits.
Whenever they finally found a working coupon, American shoppers said they felt 3.1 times savvier, and British customers felt 1.6 times savvier. Researchers said the data suggests that "encouraging shoppers to find discounts themselves could keep them coming back for more." [Read related article: 6 Trends That Are Driving E-Commerce Growth]
Who is hunting for better deals online?
If you're a small business looking to capitalize on your consumers' need to find the best deal, it's important to know who is most likely to be a super shopper.
According to researchers, women are more likely to search for an online coupon than men. Approximately 40.2% of American women and 36.7% of British women search for discount codes, as opposed to 25.2% of American males and 16.6% of British males. The trend crosses generations, with 52% of Gen Z women, 67% of millennial women, 59% of Gen X women and 49% of baby boomer women outranking the men by as much as 16%.
Researchers also found that about 1 in 7 people can reasonably be called a "super shopper." They make up 16.3% of American online consumers and 13.7% of British online shoppers. Together, they account for 1 in 3 and 1 in 4 of all online purchases, respectively.
According to the survey, a 30-year-old American man who earns $30,000 or less and isn't a parent or homeowner has an 8% chance of being a super shopper. That figure nearly doubles if the person is a woman, with a 15.1% chance. If that same woman makes more than $30,000 a year, she has a 20.3% chance of being a super shopper, and if she owns her home, the figure jumps to 28.9%. If she's also a parent, the chance that she's searched for online coupons goes up to 36.1%.