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Shifting Consumer Behavior And Evolving Purchasing (Graphic: Business Wire)

The single biggest jump in discounted merchandise occurred on Wednesday, November 21, 2012, dubbed “Black Wednesday;” however, discounts did not level off for a week. This retail insight is among the findings from data provided by NY-based Hukkster, in conjunction with a recent consumer survey conducted by GE Capital’s Retail Finance business, the consumer lending unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE - News), through Crowdtap.

GE Capital and Hukkster examined holiday trends, using data provided by Hukkster’s proprietary platform and results from GE Capital’s consumer holiday survey. This year, shoppers were able to access the same promotions online and in-store, moving away from the traditional in-store Black Friday holiday kick-off. Trends emerged in the data and survey research, revealing that lengthy online promotions contributed to a significant increase in multi-channel shopping behavior during the recent holiday season. However, a significant gap exists between the savings available to consumers during the season and how retailers communicated promotions and markdowns to the ‘savings hungry’. This gap represents an opportunity for retailers to reach consumers where they shop and how they shop.

Additional findings confirm:

  • 77% of consumers shopped both in-store and online this holiday season (GE Capital survey)
  • 70% of the savings available are from coupon codes or blanket promotions (Hukkster data)
  • Less than 15% of respondents report they always open a retailer’s email announcing a blanket promotion and return to the site to make a final purchase on a product previously considered (GE Capital survey)

“Our findings indicate that consumers today shop across channels, where and when they want,” said Courtney Keating, vice president of New Products for GE Capital’s Retail Finance business. “As retailers plan for the 2013 holiday season, an important shift will be to innovate and bring new tools to foster loyalty and provide customers with a personalized, frictionless shopping experience. When done right, all parties stand to win.”

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