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Discount Forever

Consumers have developed an intensifying awareness of price and of what constitutes value-for-money, placing fierce pressures on companies. We provide a snapshot of the Discount Forever consumer.

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•    Whereas price was once a totally fixed feature over which consumers had little control, it is now regarded as a mere starting point in negotiations.

•    Though the recession of the late 00s really propelled the search for discounted price into the mainstream, it is now firmly entrenched. An overwhelming majority of 70% of Europeans and 82% of Britons admit to being increasingly aware of the price of goods and services (Future Foundation research). The trend applies to the whole wealth spectrum and not just lower income groups.

•    Consumers are now empowered to manipulate and reshape price on a daily basis, deploying an arsenal of tools and techniques to negotiate the best possible deals:  price comparison sites, discounts and vouchers, haggling, hunting for second hand bargains or navigating the multitude of incidental pricing offers where they opt in or out of additional charges. They also participate in group purchasing initiatives like Groupola in the UK or Groupon in the US, pooling their collective buying power to negotiate heavily discounted prices.

•    The digital revolution has massively amplified the Discount Forever trend as consumers harness the power of the internet to pursue price flexibility. Mobile technology innovations like Vouchercloud – the app that uploads location-based discounts directly to your phone - will make us price-promiscuous in an increasingly spontaneous, seamless and widespread way.

•    Higher prices are no longer automatically associated with enhanced quality. Fewer  than a quarter of British consumers agree that a high price is a signal of a high quality product or service when buying wine or beer.

•    In response, companies will forever seek to divert shoppers away from purely price-based shopping by fuelling their desire to upgrade with beautified products, personalised service, enriching/playful experiences or ethical credentials. But the concept of price will grow more pliable and elastic in future, especially as charging systems become ever more sophisticated, as has already happened in financial services, hospitality and tourism.

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The Future Foundation helps companies to make better decisions. Decisions which ultimately drive shareholder value.

We view the world through a consumer lens and enable our clients to plan the future with their customers at the epicentre.

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