Summer shoppers looking to buy and save

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Summer shoppers looking to buy and save

By Dan Ochwat - 06/30/2020

U.S. consumers seem enthused to do some summer shopping. 

According to a new Valassis study, 65% of shoppers surveyed are “looking forward to shopping summer sales and promotions,” and that same number of shoppers expect to make an impulse buy in July. Additionally, 46% said they are “paying more attention” to advertisements, offers and promos now compared with pre-pandemic. More than half of shoppers in the 18- to 24-year-old demo and the 25- to 34-year-old demo were following promotions closely.

Assuming another lockdown doesn’t hit, consumers may be doing most of that shopping online, but the study did find that  26% of the consumers surveyed did anticipate shopping online for summer promotions, compared with 19% in-store and 20% for both.

Livonia, Mich.-based Valassis surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers in mid-June to examine shopping behaviors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the fourth in a series of studies on the topic.

As an increasingly larger number of shoppers are making purchase decisions out of necessity, it’s logical to see the intensified need for savings override brand preference – to the benefit of private label.
Aimee Englert , executive director, client strategy, CPG, Valassis

While the study didn’t look specifically at how consumers are responding to private brands, the notion of consumers gearing up for some bargain hunting could favor private label. Aimee Englert, executive director, client strategy, CPG, Valassis, told Store Brands that the research points to shoppers being largely loyal to preferred brands during the pandemic. “At the same time, there has been an increase in the purchase of private label, propelled by an increased desire for savings, and discovery of new brands, spurred in part by inventory challenges,” she said.

As an increasingly larger number of shoppers are making purchase decisions out of necessity, it’s logical to see the intensified need for savings override brand preference – to the benefit of private label,” Englert continued. “What’s more, the quality and performance of private brands have improved such that any switch to a retailer brand might just mean the consumer has found a 'new favorite.' The choice between shopping private label versus brand name is not new – but a renewed focus brought on by the pandemic.”

She noted that in Valassis research conducted in March – early in the pandemic – 48% of shoppers intended to stick with their favorite brands, and less than 20% were “feeling less brand loyal” due to the coronavirus, presenting good news for brands, looking to find shoppers maintaining loyalty throughout the downturn and recovery.

Be it a national brand or private brand, the latest Valassis study shows U.S. shoppers have an appetite to shop. Other findings include:

  • 36% of respondents made an impulse purchase based on an advertisement since the pandemic began;
  • 53% of consumers tried a new grocery store, 52% tried a new restaurant and 49% have tried a new retailer since the pandemic began;
  • 76% of consumers said they enjoy discovering new products based on deals they receive from brands; and
  • 22% of consumers said social media influenced them to make a purchase since the pandemic began; 41% in the 18-to-24-year-olds demo and 34% looking just at shoppers in the 25-to-34-year-olds demo.