As spring approaches, it’s time for warmer temperatures, blooming flowers, outdoor activities – and lower prices.


At least that’s what shoppers in a new survey are saying. And they mean it – as the survey takers warn that “brands that don’t offer savings risk losing loyal customers” to brands that do.

Inmar Intelligence has released its “2023 Spring Trends Guide,” in which it declares that incentives, in the form of coupons and other discounts, “will be crucial to success for brands that want to win shopper dollars this spring.”

An overwhelming 88% of shoppers say inflation is likely to affect their grocery purchases this spring, 6% more than those who said the same over the winter holidays, and 35% more than those who said so during the back-to-school season. Relatively few shoppers plan to trade down to lower-priced products or lower-priced retailers, while many more – about a third of all shoppers – say they will simply purchase fewer items overall. But nearly as many say they want the same products, in the same amounts – just not at the same prices. They hope to beat inflation by taking advantage of more coupons and discounts.


And all they need for that to happen is… more coupons and discounts. Both have been hard to come by recently, but Inmar says it’s time for brands to step up. By doing more to appeal to price-sensitive shoppers, “brands have a strong opportunity to influence the products consumers eventually put in their baskets.”

Overall, some 70% of shoppers expect to use at least some coupons for springtime purchases. 73% say a coupon or discount would tempt them to switch to a different brand, and 80% are willing to share personal data with brands and retailers in exchange for deals. This means “discounts can have a large impact on brand choices,” Inmar points out, and “coupons will make a substantial difference” in what shoppers buy this season.

The number of coupons both issued and redeemed has been declining for years. And that downward trend only accelerated during the Covid pandemic, as manufacturers’ costs increased, and demand for many products outpaced supply. As some of those pricing pressures and supply challenges have eased, it’s possible that the availability of coupons and deals has finally hit bottom, and there’s nowhere to go but up.

At least that’s what many shoppers seem to hope.

“This year, brands will see even more shoppers hunt for savings,” Rob Weisberg, Inmar EVP & President, Incentives & Loyalty, said in a statement. “Inflation throughout 2022 caused financial stress for many shoppers, and that will continue to influence how they approach purchases this spring.” As shoppers “continue to switch brands for savings,” he went on, it’s crucial for brands to make themselves “top-of-mind and give shoppers a reason to choose them over the competition.”

So it seems savings may be in style this spring. And brands that stick with last year’s trends of higher prices and fewer deals may end up finding themselves decidedly unfashionable this season.

Image source: Anthony Quintano

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