New research from Hawk Incentives, a Blackhawk Network business that provides rewards and incentive solutions, finds that the number of consumers that look for deals when they shop is on the rise. Furthermore, among those surveyed, deal seeking is occurring before, during and after the shopping process, and across different income, age and gender groups.

The findings were published in an ebook, “The Recession May Be Over, But Deal Seeking Isn’t” and were based on a survey of more than 2,000 American adults on their attitudes and expectations toward shopping and deal-seeking behaviors.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • The majority of consumers seek deals regularly: When asked whether they look for deals when they shop, 97 percent of respondents answered yes and 92 percent said they are “always” looking. More than half of respondents (56 percent) reported they are more likely to look for deals this year versus last year and of that number, 35 percent are “much more likely” to look for deals this year.
  • There’s an emotional aspect. Survey respondents reported shopping for deals provides them with emotional satisfaction—40 percent said they feel smart when they can find the best deals.
  • Income doesn’t matter: Deal-seeking behavior is not limited to those who need to stick to a budget, according to the survey. In fact, 86 percent of respondents reporting annual household earnings of $200,000 or more said that they look for deals. By comparison, 87 percent of respondents reporting annual household earnings of $20,000 to $39,000 and 85 percent of those with reported annual earnings between $100,000 and $149,000 also reported looking for deals.
  • Price and value impact purchasing decisions: According to the research, consumers aren’t solely motivated by price when shopping, but it does have an impact. When asked, 89 percent of respondents named price and 82 percent named quality as top factors affecting their purchasing decisions. Brand, by contrast, came in at 45 percent.
  • Consumers do their research before and during the shopping process: Surveyed shoppers reported researching the best deals available before making a purchase, including looking for deals in loyalty and reward programs (79 percent), reviewing circulars and print ads (74 percent), using smartphones (56 percent) and asking their personal network (38 percent). Shoppers also researched deals while shopping, with respondents reporting using their smartphones to check for deals (41 percent); looking for deals, rebates and advertised prices (27 percent); looking for deals in loyalty and reward programs (26 percent) and asking their personal network for deals (22 percent).
  • Rebates are effective tools when done right: Shoppers want to be rewarded post-purchase and report satisfaction in receiving deals such as rebates—of the survey respondents, 83 percent think rebates are great savings opportunities. Delivering rebates effectively helps reinforce purchasing behavior while also helping businesses gather customer data to help inform them on trends. Eighty-one percent of survey respondents would take additional action during rebate redemption, including completing a survey or review, enrolling in a loyalty program or referring a friend.
  • Millennials stay with the pack: Among the millennials who participated in the survey, respondents report looking for deals as often and for the same reasons as other generations.


“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. “Our research finds that consumers are going after the best deals with a vengeance, and deal seeking doesn’t seem to stem from necessity. 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.”

To download the complete “The Recession May Be Over, But Deal Seeking Isn’t” ebook, click here.

*About The Recession May Be Over, But Deal Seeking Isn’t
The Recession May Be Over, But Deal Seeking Isn’t was an online survey conducted independently by Leger on behalf of Hawk Incentives between Feb. 28 and Mar. 12, 2017. The sample size included 2,001 American respondents ages 18+. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.0%, 19 times out of 20.