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Purchasing Behavior Impacted By Discounting, Study Finds

May 2, 2014

Exclusive research from Imogen Matthews Associates confirms more consumers are waiting for discounts before they purchase beauty products. The findings detailed in this year’s Premium Market Report 2014 show that 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.

“There’s no doubt that discounting helped stimulate growth in the beauty sector during the recession,” said IMA’s managing director, Imogen Matthews. “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, nearly doubling from 8% to 14%. 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.

According to the report, the percentage of women who believe cheaper brands are just as effective as their more expensive counterparts has increased from 37% to 44%.

“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,” said Matthews.

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