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The influence of promotions on consumers: are there too many?

Rose Labdon - Lucky Cart

By Rose Labdon
On 24 August 2017

In its 2016 ‘Consumption Trends’ study, CREDOC (Research Centre for the Study and Observation of Living Conditions) assessed the influence of promotions on consumers’ attitudes.
We have highlighted the key findings for you.

1. The number of promotions is increasing in the FMCG sector

The proportion of products on offer increased from 14% in 2000 to 20% in 2016. The number of promotions increases throughout the year and is not limited to sales periods, a trend particularly noticeable in e-commerce. To find out more, see our article Promotions in Europe: the key figures.

2. However, this constant increase in the volume of promotions isn’t due to a higher demand from consumers

In 2016, 67% of consumers said they “often” or “from time to time” take advantage of offers compared to 74% in 2005, a decrease of 7 points. Furthermore, consumers tend to overlook the most interesting offers, which get lost in the crowd of promotions that are seen throughout the year.

3. Too many promotions harm the perceived value of goods

The consumer can no longer judge the value of a good by its price. Fluctuations in prices throughout the year for a single product means the value no longer seems real in the eyes of the buyers, it is instead attributed a random value, which thus can be contested. The price therefore becomes a source of suspicion.

4. Consumers are becoming less sensitive to price cuts

In 2012, 84% of consumers said that a competitive price encouraged them to purchase. In 2016, this figure was just 72%. This shows a returning optimism in consumers who would rather have more free time than more money. This rise in hedonistic aspirations reached 34% in 2016 compared to 25% in 2013.

CREDOC has conducted this annual survey since 1992, by contacting 1,000 representative individuals by telephone, aged 18 and over and living in mainland France.

See the full study here.

Would you like to find out more?

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