Although bargain-hunting consumers will save money on a per-item basis, new research reveals that they are prepared to spend considerably more overall than shoppers who pay the ticket price.
The study, carried out by online payment service PayPal, separates shoppers out into behavioural types. The 'uncut' shopper is classified as one who 'rarely, if ever looks for a discount and usually pays full price'. At the other end of the spectrum sits the 'cut throat' shopper who 'obsessively looks for a bargain and uses every tool at their disposal from voucher codes to haggling'.
Of course, in these straitened times, more and more of us are turning to discounts and voucher codes to combat the rising cost of everyday living. It will not therefore come as a huge shock that 37% of UK consumers fall into the 'cut throat' or 'cut price' (the next level down) categories.
Something however that is more surprising is that the average online spend for a 'cut throat' shopper over the past six months has been a massive 823 GBP greater than that of an 'uncut' shopper. The average shopper ('Mid Range': 'showing average price sensitivity and dedication to identifying or securing savings') has spent 2,109 GBP in the past six months, whilst an 'uncut' shopper's and a cut throat shopper's total online spend have totalled 1,670 GBP and 2,493 GBP respectively.
So who are these bargain-conscious big spenders? Women seem to be the most concerned about finding a good deal, with 93% of female respondents claiming to keep a lookout for the best deals, compared to just 84% of men. The 25-44 year old age group is the most 'cut throat' in their spending habits, whilst the over 65s are the most happy to pay the going rate for their purchases - 43% of this group pursue a bargain 'rarely if ever' or 'will usually pay full price'.
People in Wales and the South West of England are the most likely to have their eye on the price (with 41% labeling themselves as 'cut throat' or 'cut price'), whilst Londoners and those in the West Midlands are the least concerned about getting a bargain (with 13% of respondents from these areas classified as 'uncut').
Cameron McLean, General Manager, Merchant Services, at PayPal UK, said: "Our research shows that online bargain hunters are often the biggest spenders. That's good news for retailers, as they recognise that lower prices can be good for business. But it's also great for a new generation of shoppers who expect to get better value for money."
Author and Personal finance journalist Sue Hayward, who contributed to the report, comments: "I think most people are looking to make their money go further rather than cutting back. If you have a budget of 300 GBP and you can get a washing machine 50 GBP cheaper online, most people will trade up and get a better quality model online or via a department store or clearance website, rather than pocket the saving."
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