In this article, Questia Group focuses on discounts and sales seasons. Our research was conducted through an online survey on our platform http://questia.ro covering 485 respondents. The survey was active between 20 and 21 June 2017. Our key findings are presented below.

Overview

Discounts, special offers and sales seasons are some of the main strategies used by brands either to attract new clients or to reward their regular customers. They involve urgency, or the anticipation of missing out. According to some theories in social science (such as the pleasure principle or the regulatory focus theory), people seek pleasure in order to avoid pain. The anticipation of mission out is one sort of "pain" that people will want to avoid.

Both attracting new customers and showing gratitude to the regular ones are strategies that bring more revenues on the long term. Recent data show that consumers are increasingly searching for deals in which pricing plays a key role. In recent years, online and mobile shopping and are completely disrupting the traditional shopping patterns.

According to an article an article on Huffington Post shoppers find delight and joy in receiving an exclusive offer. A cause for celebration (like receiving an unexpected coupon from a favored brand) or the welcome surprise of a promotional sale in a customer’s inbox can spark excitement to customers. Moreover, the article shows that for most people, buying something for the first time at full price without having any personal experience with the item or peer reviews can be intimidating. However, a slight discount can change a buyer’s attitude towards a risky purchase.

As for Romanians, data show that they have become 'smart' shoppers. This means they are no longer that enchanted with reduced prices and they are starting to buy more diverse products on special reduction periods (such as Black Friday).

Findings

Asked if they know the sales seasons, Romanians are highly aware of Black Friday (51.8%), winter-spring sales season (47.2%) and to a smaller degree the summer-autumn sales season (39.8%).

sales awareness

Most respondents prefer buying items both online/in store (50.3%) or directly in store (30.5%), while only some (19.2%) are digital consumers. Thus, people prefer a blended approach to buying products that are on sale or have certain discounts.

sales purchase

We also wanted to know what types of products consumers bought in the last year and what they bought in the last 1-3 months (by referring to the summer sales season). The results are interesting: toys (27.4%), sports articles (21.6%), books (21.6%) or gaming (20.6%) are items bought more recently, prior to the summer holidays. Small/large appliances, laptops/tablets/mobile phones or TVs are not bought in the summer sales season, but rather during the autumn/winter one. Personal care products are preferred throughout the seasons, along with accessories, books or house/gardening items.

products bought on sale

Substantial price reduction (such as 20% to 80% discounts) is the favorite type of discount/special offer that Romanians prefer. The buy-one-get-one-free offer (38.4%), gift cards/vouchers (33.8%) and campaigns with limited discounts (such as Black Friday, 30.1%) are other sales promotions preferred, but to a lesser degree. Thus, pricing plays a crucial role for brands, but it depends on a brand’s strategy to find its best fit for consumers: both at the level of price reduction and at the level of campaigning. Tools like price matching, loyalty programs, uncertainty and rebates can be incorporated into pricing strategy and employed in a targeted fashion to reach specific customer segments.

prefered sale

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