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Discounting Impacts Purchase Behavior

April 8, 2014

More consumers wait for discounts before they buy, according to Imogen Matthews Associates.

More consumers than ever are waiting for discounts before they purchase beauty products. In fact, the percentage of women who say they will only buy when there’s a discount has increased from around a fifth in 2013 to over a quarter in 2014, according to Premium Market Report 2014, an exclusive study from Imogen Matthews Associates (IMA), in association with YouGov.

“There’s no doubt that discounting helped stimulate growth in the beauty sector during the recession,” explained Imogen Matthews, managing director, IMA. “What is also clear is that an over-reliance on discounting as a strategy has now backfired. Not only are more women waiting for discounts before they buy but we have strong evidence that those brands that resisted discounts are now in a much stronger position than those that didn’t.”
The research makes for difficult reading for the premium sector in particular with the percentage of women who say they have traded down to cheaper skin care products, almost doubling from 8% to 14%. According to Matthews, while some might say that this is symptomatic of the recession, there’s also evidence that the trend to trade down is not just because of pressures on household income. The percentage of women who believe cheaper brands are just as effective as their more expensive counterparts has increased from 37% to 44%, according to the research.
“The premium sector needs to do more to differentiate itself from the mass market. Premium has always led the way when it comes to new technologies so it makes sense to put them at the heart of their campaigns. However, consumers will no longer stand for pseudo science and unsupported claims. The benefits of new technologies need to be backed up by hard evidence and offer a discernable result,” according to Imogen.
Meanwhile there’s good news for the High Street. Despite fears that more and more consumers are migrating to the Internet for all their shopping needs, the percentage of women who say they prefer to go in-store to purchase their beauty products has increased from 35% to 39%.
The full research findings can be found in the Premium Market Report 2014 at Now in its 22nd year, the Premium Market Report helps senior decision makers from the beauty industry to follow the right trends, produce profitable products and validate their most important strategic decisions. The Premium Market Report 2014 investigates the latest trends and consumer buying behavior within the premium makeup, skin care and fragrance markets.
As well as the complete report, individual sections and bundles are also available, as follows:

  1. The Premium Market Overview & Future Report
  2. The Economic Overview
  3. The Premium Skincare Report
  4. The Premium Make-up Report
  5. The Fine Fragrance Report
  6. The Retail and Online Report
  7. The Premium Beauty Consumer Insights Report
  8. The Key Company Performance + News Report
  9. The Premium Market Report Bundle {The Premium Market Overview + Future; Retail and Online; Premium Beauty Consumer Insights}
More info: Imogen Matthews Associates, Website:; Email:

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