Deal-seeking behaviour is booming. Before shopping, 90% of consumers look online for the best deals and 89% look for sales, deals, cashback rebates and the best prices. And when shopping, the modern deal-seeker actively seeks out discounts, promotions and bargains.
Deal seekers aren’t rare birds; they’ll be everywhere. By understanding who they are and what they’re looking for, you’ll be well positioned to reach them.
While many consumers are looking for the best deal, not everyone buys on price alone, new research shows. 46% are deal takers, 6% are deal sharers, and 8% are outright deal rejectors.
So who is the new deal seeker and what motivates them?
Approximately 41.7 million shoppers are part of this new frugality movement: a transition from frequent purchase behaviour to thoughtful spending habits centred around an emotional connection to a brand.
A large majority of the modern deal-seeker movement comprises millennials and gen-Xers who are not only looking for savings in their purchase decisions but both value and a personal relationship with their favourite brands. This new deal-seeking generation is extremely valuable – so if you know how to engage them, you can influence their purchase decisions and create loyal brand advocates.
Top travel criteria
While travel demand continues to climb, continued increases in inflation and skyrocketing airfares are stretching budgets and affecting travel plans. Surveys show deal shopping and low prices are the top travel criteria for consumers this year.
From flash deals to flexible check-ins and check-outs to senior citizen discounts or no pet fees, below is a list of travel criteria in order to attract the deal-seeker to your hotel:
1. Know your audience
Families, millennials, business travellers and solo travellers may be seeking different types of deals, so target your offers accordingly.
2. Deal seekers love freebies
Free breakfast ranks high as desired amenity. With the increase in food prices, this appears to be more attractive than ever. And the buffet is back! Consider being generous with free room upgrades during your non-peak booking days. Free Wi-Fi should be standard. Perhaps offer free shuttles to and from airports or the Gautrain, and consider this service to popular local spots. Try to seek out mutually beneficial business partnerships and consider offering free vouchers or coupons to museums, sporting events, spa treatments, boat rides, fishing venues etc.
3. Early check-in
Accept early check-ins when you can, as any chance to extend a trip will feel like a deal.
4. Offer flash deals
Many deal-seekers wait it out for last-minute deals and short-stay packages or winter deals. Don’t forget to utilise mobile marketing, and social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok for these time-sensitive offers. And if you have relationships with social media influencers, make sure they are aware of your deals and offer ways to reward them for spreading the word.
5. Beef up loyalty programmes
Loyalty programmes encourage repeat business and may offer opportunities for enticing a loyal business traveller to also become a leisure traveller, or vice versa.
Deal-seeker influentials — always looking for the best online, offline and mobile deal. They tend to be young, highly educated and socially active consumers who love shopping, but refuse to pay the full price for anything. They are frequently online and heavily engaged in social media, feeling comfortable sharing their favourite brands with friends, as they see themselves as trendsetters with the potential to multiply a brand’s message by word of mouth.
Offline deal-seekers — look for the best deals on traditional media. Predominantly over the age of 55, these shoppers would only look for a deal up to a limit. 63% say they head straight to the clearance rack when they enter a store, but will not travel far to shop. This segment is very price-sensitive, with 43% agreeing that they are highly consumed by getting the best deal. They are also more likely to view vouchers and discounts as a way for them to try new things.
Deal thrillers — with a mean age of 49, they love getting a deal, but are also brand loyalists. This sector is 57% less likely than the average population to say that a coupon or sale would encourage them to try something new.
Deal takers — highly educated and affluent consumers who will accept a deal if offered, but are less likely to seek one out. Promotions targeted at this group must be well publicised online and offline. However, they are much less influential online than deal-seeker influentials.
Deal indifferents — Deal indifferents make up the largest segment of the population. Almost 30% of adults, they are unlikely to change their behaviour because of a deal. Of these consumers, 60% go shopping only when there is something specific they really need. Because they do not care if they get a deal, marketers will waste valuable resources on this sizable group and miss out on profits they could have otherwise kept.
Deal rejectors — These consumers are the most shopping-averse group, wanting convenience over anything else. For these consumers, who are 58% male and tend to be older, convenience, service and brands far outrank price when it comes to making purchase decisions. This group of shoppers has higher-than-average discretionary income and a willingness to part with it. They are also 59% less likely to trust information they receive through social media channels.
Overall, the modern deal seeker is a savvy shopper who actively engages in research, uses technology, and leverages various strategies to save money and find the best possible deals, so pay special attention to the content on your own hotel website – not only promoting your perks but offering more in-depth content like videos.