Study on information-related behaviour when searching for promotions

Promotions in brochures are popular with Swiss people and often lead to a purchase.

17 June 2020

Promotions and offers are appreciated by the Swiss: According to the latest brochure study conducted by the market research institute MindTake on behalf of Profital, 91% of the people surveyed find out about offers cross-medially, i.e. both via brochures and online. For retailers, this is a good sign, because such promotions trigger purchases via both channels. In the food sector, the intention to purchase is highest: every second person who sees an interesting offer then goes specifically to the shop or visits the online shop to buy the product.

                Lidl brochure in the Profital app

Behaviour in terms of consumption and information with regard to promotions is constantly changing. Are brochures still an effective tool for retailers? Through which channels do consumers search for promotions? How has the importance of promotion portals changed? To answer such questions, we conduct an annual study that sheds more light on information-related behaviour when it comes to searching for promotions. For the current study, a total of 1,000 people aged 15 to 69 were surveyed throughout Switzerland. The findings are clear: Swiss consumers have a particular affinity for discount promotions and use printed brochures and the internet to search for them. However, they don't usually stop at browsing or swiping: if they come across interesting offers, the next step is often a trip to the shop or a visit to the online shop.

Offers from supermarkets and discounters in particular trigger purchases

Promotions in printed brochures can be an impetus for a purchase transaction. When people are asked how often they go to the shop or online shop to buy a product after discovering an interesting offer, one industry in particular stands out: The Swiss frequently show this behaviour in the food sector at supermarkets (54%) or discounters (47%). Pet supplies (29%) and fashion items (21%) are also purchased frequently.

If Swiss people come across interesting offers on the internet, their intention to buy is similar: promotions from supermarkets (51%) or discounters (46%) lead to purchases for about half of the people surveyed. Fashion and pet supplies each account for 25%. On the other hand, the car & accessories (14%) and furniture & furnishing (13%) sectors require the most encouragement for people to visit the branch and/or the online shop.

Cross-media use: Brochures and promotional portals in demand

The Swiss adopt a cross-media approach when looking for promotions - they use both printed brochures and the internet: over 91% of respondents say they use print and online channels. There are differences with regard to the age groups: younger people aged 15 to 39 use the internet more (66%) to search for promotions, while their older counterparts aged 40 to 69 rely more on print brochures (69%).

For Swiss people who obtain information online, promotional portals like Profital are becoming more and more important. In addition to retailer websites and apps (79%), 44% of those surveyed now obtain information about promotions on such portals.

“The use of media differs according to age group. Therefore, the cross-media communication of offers that reaches consumers on their preferred channel - online or physical - is indispensable for retailers. It will be even more important in the future”, says Raphael Thommen, Managing Director of Profital, about the findings.

Swiss people are extremely interested in discounts and promotions

One thing is certain: promotions are particularly popular with the Swiss. Of the 1,000 people surveyed, 90% give it a lot of thought before they go shopping. The Swiss pay particular attention to offers at supermarkets (66%), electrical goods stores (60%), discounters (53%) and fashion shops (52%). They are also popular at the point of sale: 88% of consumers are really interested in discounts and promotions and look out for them in the shops. Here too, supermarkets (74%), along with discounters (61%) and electrical goods stores (59%), are the places where awareness of such promotions is particularly strong.

About the survey

1,000 people throughout Switzerland were surveyed during the period from 10 to 24 March 2020. The representative online study was conducted on behalf of Profital by the market research institute MindTake and focuses on information-related behaviour when it comes to searching for promotions and offers in Switzerland in 2020.

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