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Think about all the time you spend clipping coupons and matching them to store sales before you go grocery shopping. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if your store would just give you the savings without requiring so much effort on your part?

That’s what participants in a new survey think. A majority of them say it would be so much easier to save, if their stores would do the work for them.

There’s a word for that (perhaps several words: Lazy? Entitled? Unmotivated?) But whether or not these shoppers are justified in their desire, the survey takers say retailers and manufacturers shouldn’t ignore what they’re saying.

Inmar has released its latest annual Shopper Behavior Study, which gauges consumers’ attitudes and preferences when it comes to grocery shopping and saving money.

What it found was a new answer to the age-old couponers’ question – would you rather spend money to save time, or spend time to save money? It turns out today’s shoppers don’t particularly want to do either, but they want the benefits of doing both.

“Consumers today are time-strapped, over-committed, and fiercely protect their budgets,” Inmar CEO and Chairman David Mounts said in a statement. As a result, these shoppers “demand efficiency, convenience, and effortless shopping.”

85% of the shoppers surveyed said they want retailers to do matchups for them, by highlighting opportunities to pair a digital coupon with a sale. 59% said they want retailer apps to feature the ability to scan a product in order to determine if there’s a coupon available.

“Consumers are more time-conscious, and time strapped, than ever before – and, as a result, that much more demanding of trading partners when it comes to providing the critical convenience that minimizes their shopping time while maximizing the value of the experience,” Inmar’s report reads.

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75% of shoppers don’t particularly want to take the time to browse through digital coupons on a retailer’s website or app and select the ones they want – they’d like to be able to select all of them with a single click. That way, whatever offers happen to apply to the purchases they’re making anyway, will come off automatically at the checkout. And more than half of the shoppers surveyed said they want stores to provide personalized offers to them based on their purchase habits, and they want new offers on a regular basis.

“Time-challenged shoppers expect retailers to know who they are, what they buy and anticipate their shopping needs,” the report explains. “And they expect retailers to use this knowledge to consistently provide to them, and communicate with them about, convenient and relevant savings opportunities.”

The instant-gratification-with-little-effort attitude among shoppers has contributed to the rise in popularity of digital coupons. While 52% of shoppers say they use paper coupons, 53% say they wish all coupons were digital, and 68% said they would use more coupons if there were more available online.

“I get coupons when I check out, these ones that print on your receipt, but never use them,” one shopper told the survey takers. “I prefer instant coupons and savings without planning.”

“Instant coupons”? “Savings without planning?” Perhaps these shoppers would also like to retire without having worked, or some lottery winnings without the hassle of having to buy a ticket.

Despite the apparent increase in the number of shoppers who have little patience to clip coupons or look for deals, Inmar says coupons themselves are alive and well. 88% of shoppers said they used at least one coupon in the last three months of 2017. And that’s good news for retailers and manufacturers who use coupons to influence shoppers’ decisions.

“It’s no secret that retailers who emphasize coupon distribution will have a greater chance to sway a consumer into making a purchase in their favor,” Mounts said. “It’s a win-win for the shopper and the retailer.”

And if the retailer is the one that has to do more of the work to ensure that those coupons are used, it’s a big win for the shopper who wants to save – without so much of the effort.

Photo by ccPixs.com

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