AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- RetailMeNot ( www.retailmenot.com), the largest digital coupon website in the United States, today released research indicating that consumers experience emotional turmoil when they realize they could have found a better deal on an item and paid less for it. In a special report, available here, RetailMeNot examines this widespread phenomenon and tackles the rise of this new retail psychological issue facing nearly 9 in 10 U.S. residents: Deal Envy.
"For the upcoming holiday shopping season, RetailMeNot is making it a priority to stop Deal Envy nationwide," said Jill Balis, senior vice president of marketing for RetailMeNot, Inc. "Our mission is to provide shoppers with the tools they need to find the best deals so they can buy all the gifts they want for the holidays—and even something for themselves—without blowing their budgets. The holidays should be fun and festive, not plagued by Deal Envy."
By the numbers: Anxious budget bustersIn 2013, 90% of respondents indicated that they intend to shop for winter holiday gifts and plan to spend an average of $167 per person. The high cost spent per person on gifts is worrisome when you consider that more than a quarter (26%) of shoppers surveyed this year indicated last year that they set a budget and went over it. According to the report, exceeding a holiday budget sparks symptoms of Deal Envy, including guilt for more than a quarter (27%) of gift givers and anxiety for 1 in 5 (20%). Even though consumers feel guilt and anxiety when breaking their budgets, nearly all (91%) winter holiday gift givers surveyed admitted to overspending on presents. Among those who said they have overspent on a winter holiday gift:
- 6 in 10 (60%) did so because they felt that giving a gift the person would love was worth the extra money.
- Men are more likely to overspend on winter holiday gifts for their significant other than women are (50% vs. 34%)
- Women are more likely than men to overspend on their children (32% vs. 22%)
- However, more than 1 in 10 (14%) winter holiday gift givers overspent because they waited until the last minute and had to pay extra.
- During the winter holiday season, family members are the most likely to be overspent on, including significant others (44%), children (29%) and mothers (26%), while bosses/co-workers (1%) are the least likely to be overspent on.
- Nearly 9 in 10 (87%) winter holiday gift-givers have learned only after purchasing a gift that they could have paid less. This is a classic behavioral trigger for Deal Envy.
- In addition to symptoms of guilt (13%) and anxiety (25%), disappointment runs high when money is left on the table—more than 7 in 10 (72%) respondents reported feeling disappointed if they paid more than they should have on a purchase for themselves.
- During the winter holiday season, to avoid further Deal Envy symptoms, nearly 3 in 4 (74%) respondents pass up buying something for themselves at least sometimes because they might feel guilty about the purchase.