NEW YORK (MainStreet) — If retailers want to keep good customers, they'd better give those consumers the discounts they really want.
Over the past 10 years, grocery retailers have prioritized fuel discounts over food and consumer-goods discounts — but that just isn't resonating with Americans. A survey from Cincinnati's LoyaltyOne shows that, by a wide margin, shoppers actually prefer grocery discounts over discounts at the pump. (Groceries, gasoline and travel are the top three discount choices.)
In the firm's survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers, 72% said they'd prefer that grocers offer "discounts in the aisle instead of at the pump." That sentiment is strong throughout the nation, but especially so in the Northeast, where 81% of respondents prefer grocery discounts over gasoline deals, LoyaltyOne says. Many consumers appear to be serious about that preference, as 62% of respondents said they'd switch to grocery rewards if a grocer offering gas rewards gave them the option.
In the meantime, consumers are being creative about getting their discounts where they can.
"I run a start-up, and we're still pretty new. So it's important to my family that we save money where we can," says Hunter D. Willis, president of Wovv.com, a Colorado Springs, Colo., website services provider. To home in on the discounts his household wants, Willis creates a Google Alert for the most-used items in his family.
"For example, I have an alert for Tyson Chicken coupons. Every time a new coupon appears online, I get an alert. Some are regional, so I can't use it unless it's my region, but some are national, and that gives us good savings," he says. "I've also done the same for the local amusement park. It's a neat trick that gives us the heads-up on little-known or time-sensitive deals."