Saturday, February 23, 2008

Consumers Seek Economic Relief Online, Survey Finds | MediaPost

by Nina M. Lentini, Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 5:00 AM ET
LOOKING TO REACH CONSUMERS WHO are hard-pressed to buy your products? Get online and send them newsletters and coupons, because that is where they are, researching products and seeking ways to navigate the economic recession.

  That's the latest word from Prospectiv, a provider of online customer acquisition solutions, which surveyed consumers online for the first time as they experienced a recession, says president/CEO Jere Doyle. "I guess we had one in 2000 for a little bit but, especially for middle or lower income consumers, now we have Internet penetration."

Of those polled, 84% said they have changed their shopping habits due to concerns about a possible recession. Rising fuel prices, fears about the real estate market and consumer debt topped consumer's list of concerns.

What are consumers doing differently?

  • • 66% are logging more hours online researching and comparing brands and prices
  • • 74% would welcome more online offers, coupons and e-newsletters from their favorite brands and products
  • • 79% already are or expect to dine out less frequently
  • • 60% are more likely to sign up/join a website or online community that offers recipes, healthy meal ideas, cooking tips and savings they can use at home

"People are using more coupons, looking for ways to save, tips, e-newsletters, online offers," says Doyle. "Seventy-nine percent are dining out less frequently so they're looking for healthy meal ideas." Even among the 15% of respondents who said they do not fear a possible recession, 30% reported that concerns about fuel costs, the housing market and consumer debt have affected their shopping habits. In fact, 40% of this group have increased their online bargain hunting and 50% said they'd welcome more e-newsletters, online coupons and offers.

Nina M. Lentini edits Marketing Daily. Email her at

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