November 21st, 2011
Trendwatching.com, leading trend firm and publisher of Trend Briefings, recently surveyed the innovative ways in which brands are using promotions and offers and the ways in which consumer attitudes to discounts and deals are keeping pace. Declaring the avalanche of deals currently available to consumers not just a symptom of the financial crisis, they coin the term “Dealer-Chic” and describe it this way:
“Consumers have always loved getting good deals or exclusive rewards, but rather than having to hide one’s haggling, securing the best deal is now accepted, if not admired by one’s fellow consumers. Deal hunting will continue to be an integral part of consumers’ lives, as it’s now about more than just saving money: it’s the thrill, the pursuit, the control, and the perceived smartness, and thus a source of status too.”
For status-conscious consumers (and that’s all of them), making the most of discounts and deals is no longer considered cumbersome or even embarrassing, but simply smart. And in the quick-shifting consumer arena savvy consumers have more choice, higher expectations, and more control, while mature consumers have an ever-less reverential relationship to brands.
Here are three reasons why Dealer-Chic is set to get bigger and bigger in the coming years:
1 | More For Less
People want to experience more, even when they have less to spend. While many people in developed economies may have less money to spend right now, consumers everywhere will forever look to experience more.
- 62% of US consumers rarely pay full price for clothing and 58% of UK consumers “don’t like paying full price for anything” (Source: Mintel, September 2011).
- 81% of US consumers think it’s fun to see how much money they can save by using coupons or their shopper loyalty card (Source: Deloitte 2010 American Pantry Survey, July 2010).
- More than 40% of coupon “enthusiasts” had a household income greater than $70,000 USD (Source: Neilsen, April 2010).
2 | The Medium Is The Motivation
Deals are now a source of tech and online innovation, and thus smart, cool, and fun to switched-on consumers. Consumers are now being alerted to, using, reusing, and sharing offers and deals via new (and therefore infinitely more exciting and attractive) technologies.
- Online coupons account for only 1% of all coupons distributed, but 10% of those that are redeemed (Source: Catalina, April 2011).
- 79% of smartphone owners use their phones for shopping-related activities, and of those nearly half (48%) use their phones to look for or use discounts and coupons (Source: Google & IPSOS, April 2011).
- 67% of mobile users agree that location-based coupons on a mobile device are “convenient and useful,” while 42% say they have already used a mobile coupon of some kind (Source: Prosper Mobile Insights, October 2011).
3 | Best Of The Best
Why consumers can be increasingly confident they are getting the best price and the best product. With instant mobile or online access to not only deals but reviews as well, consumers can now be confident they’re getting the best price for the best product or service. One example:
- Launched in November 2010, SNIQUEaway is an invite-only travel deals website operated by U.S.-based Smarter Travel Media (owner of TripAdvisor). The limited-time-only deals all feature four star or more properties that were given the highest ratings in TripAdvisor reviews, ensuring that each deal is pre-vetted.
According to TrendWatch, every B2C brand will have to deal with Dealer-Chic’s impact, and there are plenty of opportunities to be had. For brands, Dealer-Chic is not about giving everything away or wildly slashing prices. The “perform or perish” message still holds true. Instead, brands should be thinking about the ways in which Dealer-Chic enables them to reach out to new audiences, engage with them in novel ways, and help them do the things they want to do at a lower cost.
In this wide-open deal ecosystem, where will your brands find opportunity? From new sectors, to ancillary services, to deal review sites, to new technologies — if you get it right, consumers (and businesses) will want to hear from you.