Valpak has been sending out coupons for more than 45 years, so the company knows what it’s talking about — and what it’s talking about now should evoke a fear response among holiday retailers.
The company’s recent annual readership survey shows some disturbing trends for the holiday season.
For one thing, individuals are “now focused on shopping smarter to identify the best deals.” According to the 2014 Valpak Consumer Survey, a mere 18 percent are willing to spend full price on a gift for a loved one.
“Shopping habits of today have changed due to more mindful consumers and a different approach to holiday spending,” said Michael Vivio, president of Valpak. “Consumers are no longer dazzled with un-targeted promotions and better understand the competition retailers have with one another during this peak season. Because of this knowledge, consumers are demanding more, and most if not all, don’t feel obliged to pay full price during the ‘season of giving’.”
Furthermore, consumers would prefer to shop in-store to secure the best deal, according to the survey, yet also want to keep a little extra money in their pockets.
While they might be checking their phones for deals, they are not purchasing from their mobile devices as much; 48 percent said they know for certain that they will not purchase from a mobile device this year, with the number one reason being that they prefer to shop in-store.
Here’s the real clincher: Consumers are no longer buckling to peer pressure. A full 57 percent of respondents said they do not plan to purchase this year’s “it” toy or item.
Valpak, which works with 55,000 businesses nationwide, also noted a few trends that could affect this year’s holiday shopping results, including the tough market for small businesses that offer the same products as major retailers as people seek deep discounts at big box stores; the move to local purchases to support the unique and one-of-a-kind; and the continuing propensity of shoppers to seek early-on discounts for items on their lists (any retailer not ready for Black Friday will lose out).