Online Spending Shows Recession Resilience

May 13, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | CPG & FMCG | Paid Search | Promotions, Coupons & Co-op | Retail & E-Commerce

Three-fifths of online consumers say they will spend equal (41%) or more (19%) money shopping online in the next 60 days than they did at this time last year, according to an April study from Performics and ROI Research.

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The first monthly “2009 Online Buyer Economic Trend Study” also found that respondents are more likely to maintain or increase online spending than they are for purchases in general, especially because they have the ability to go online to research products, compare prices and search for discounts and coupons.

Among the survey findings:

  • Nearly three-quarters of respondents say they search online more often to find better deals.

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  • One-third of respondents say they are more likely to click on banner ads or sponsored search listings while shopping online in order to find more information or better deals.

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  • 69% use coupons to save money.

Though the study found that respondents are cutting back in many areas, especially luxury items, entertainment and apparel, it suggests that marketers who sell daily household items could actually see sales increase by offering consumers deals to buy online. This is because two-thirds of consumers say that, while faced with cutting spending in most areas, daily household items remain a necessity.

“Despite difficult economic conditions, consumers still seem willing to spend money online, especially when offered incentives through coupons and other online discounts,” said Nick Beil, CEO of Performics. “These findings suggest marketers must implement actionable strategies that more effectively reach cost-conscious consumers to generate sales throughout the recession.”

Additional findings:

  • More than half (53%) of respondents say their household economic situation is worse than it was at this time last year, while 33% say it is the same and 14% say it is better.
  • Two-thirds say the recession has fundamentally changed the way they think about saving and spending mone.
  • 55% say they have postponed at least one major purchase in the past three months because of the economy.
  • More than one-third of those receiving a tax refund will be applying it to debt.

“Consumers spend and save very differently in this economy,” Beil said. “Now more than ever it is imperative that marketers understand consumer behavior and the most effective campaign triggers to thrive in any environment.”

About the study: The research was conducted from April 15-17, 2009 among 300 US adults from the Greenfield Online panel who have made an online purchase in the past six months. Statistical testing was performed to uncover meaningful differences between cells and subgroups. The study will collect consumer data each month to track and document changes in consumers’ attitudes and behaviors in light of the current economy and will include additional topical questions with each monthly survey.

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