Ongoing markdowns in the department store and mass merchant segments has conditioned consumers to always expect a discount, according to a survey by technology solutions firm First Insight Inc., which also found generational differences in regard to expectations about promotions.
In the poll of 750 shoppers, First Insight researchers found that 76 percent of Baby Boomers “will not pay full price when shopping for home electronics, home appliances, furniture, smartphones and vehicles.”
Researchers at the firm said it found that “widespread discounting by department stores and mass merchants was significantly influencing the expectations of discounts when consumers shop in other product categories.” First Insight also noted that expectations were similar across genders, “but varied significantly by age, with Baby Boomers expecting deeper discounts than Millennials and Gen-Xers.”
First Insight Inc. released the results of the survey at the ShopTalk event in Las Vegas today. It is the first in a series of consumer behavior surveys. This one did not include apparel, footwear or accessories.
Greg Petro, chief executive officer and founder of First Insight, said the “results of this survey indicate that the rampant discounting that has become the norm in department stores and mass merchants has had a clear impact on consumers and the way they now consider purchases in every aspect of their lives.”
The findings of the report also showed that 90 percent of all respondents “acknowledged that discounts in department stores and mass merchants significantly influenced, or somewhat influenced, their expectations for discounts in home electronics.” Home appliances, furniture and smartphones all registered similar expectations among those polled.
The markdown-minded Boomers expect discounts regardless of the product type, and full price doesn’t seem to be an option. Across the categories surveyed (home goods, electronics, furniture, smartphones and vehicles), more than 70 percent of Baby Boomers said “they would ‘definitely not’ or ‘probably not’ purchase an item in these categories at full price, with an even higher 79 percent stating a discount would likely be necessary when purchasing home electronics.”
With Millennials, though, the poll found that “discounting may have a reduced effect on purchase decisions,” First Insight noted.
“Significantly less than half of Millennials stated they would ‘definitely not’ or ‘probably not’ buy vehicles (39 percent), furniture (40 percent), home appliances (42 percent) and home electronics (41 percent) at full price,” the researchers said in the report. “Only 35 percent would be less likely to buy a smartphone at full price.”