by Alex Palmer | October 06, 2017
The economy may seem to be humming along, but that hasn't stopped consumers from being as open as ever to incentives and deals. Those are the findings from new research from Hawk Incentives, a Blackhawk Network business. In its new ebook, "The Recession May Be Over, But Deal Seeking Isn't," the rewards and incentive solutions company finds that 97 percent of consumers say that they seek deals regularly when they shop, with 92 percent saying they are "always" looking for special offers.

The research, which drew on the responses of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers about their shopping attitudes, also found that more than half (56 percent) said they are more likely to look for deals this year as opposed to last year. Additionally, 35 percent said they were "much more likely" to look for deals this year.

The findings were consistent across income levels: while 86 percent of respondents earning an annual household income of more than $200,000 said they look for deals, 87 percent of those earning $20,000 to $39,000 and 85 percent of those making $100,000 to $149,000 said the same. It also crossed generations, with Millennials reporting that they look for deals as often and for the same reasons as other generations. 

One factor that may be helping drive this continuing interest in consumer incentives may be how technology has made it easier than ever.

"Smartphones and instant access to deals via thumb swipes and mouse clicks have perpetuated deal-seeking behavior, and shoppers now have an emotional and habitual propensity to stretch their dollars and maximize their purchase value," said Theresa McEndree, Vice President of Marketing, Hawk Incentives.

The report also found that consumers do their deal research using a wide range of tools. While 79 percent of respondents said they look for deals through their loyalty and rewards programs, 74 percent review circulars and print ads, 56 percent use their smartphones, and 38 percent tap into their personal network.

"Our research finds that consumers are going after the best deals with a vengeance, and deal seeking doesn't seem to stem from necessity," added McEndree. "Retailers wanting to engage existing and prospective customers can offer deals such as rebates to help meet consumers' expectations for receiving the best deal while also collecting data to help promote future purchases and boost sales."

The full ebook is available for download at Hawk Incentives' website.