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Shoppers late last year were feeling optimistic about their finances this year, reports IRI in newly-released data, noting that 70% of those surveyed in Q4 felt that their household finances would improve in the coming 6 months. But that hasn’t stopped them from planning various ways to keep spending in check, according to the study.

Indeed, 81% of respondents plan to buy private label to save money, and 72% will try lower-priced brands with the same goal in mind. While that shows widespread deal-seeking behavior, those figures are down from prior years: for example, in Q4 2013, 91% planned to buy more private labels than before, and an equal 91% said they would try new cheaper brands to save money.

The majority of consumers surveyed also reported comparing prices:

  • Roughly two-thirds (68%) said they’ll compare prices in retailers’ weekly circulars to find the lowest prices;
  • Close to 6 in 10 (57%) will visit multiple retailers in an effort to curb grocery costs; and
  • Half will compare prices on retailers’ websites.

Not surprisingly, these efforts are more prevalent among respondents who are pessimistic about their financial outlook.

It’s interesting to note that more respondents will compare prices in retailers’ weekly circulars than on retailers’ websites. A recent survey from Kelley Scott Madison indicated that store circulars were the most influential types of ads encouraging consumers to shop in-store rather than online. Prior research from AMG/Parade had likewise found that point-of-sale circulars and circulars delivered to homes were among the most influential local media advertising types for consumers.

About the Data: The IRI results are based on a Q4 2016 survey of 2,300 US adults.

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