Consumers are looking for savings. Some retailers can't stand it.

Nearly 60% of Poles declare that in the fourth quarter of this year they will look for promotion more intensively than before. Moreover, nearly half of consumers are now more eager to create shopping lists before going to the store. 

For less than 60% of people, commercial newspapers will remain the main tool for seeking discounts. In this group, the majority of people are focusing on paper publications, while the rest will use applications and websites.

A nationwide survey, carried out by UCE Research for the industry programme "BLIX AWARDS - Consumer Choice", showed that in the last months of the year Poles will look for products in promotions more often than in previous quarters. A total of 57% of consumers declare this. In total, 19% of respondents are of a different opinion. 9 percent have no opinion on the subject, and for 15 percent it is irrelevant.

- As every year, the fourth quarter will be characterised by higher consumer spending. This regularity should be combined with economic uncertainty related to the epidemiological situation in the country. The declarations of almost 60% of Poles should not surprise anyone - comments Julita Pryzmont from Hiper-Com Poland.

A problem for weaker players

In turn, Dr Krzysztof Łuczak from the "BLIX AWARDS - Consumer Choice" programme notes that Poles, contrary to the existing unrest, will want to maintain consumption at the pre-pandemic level. They intend to plan their purchases carefully so that this year's holidays and other upcoming occasions will pass in a similar atmosphere as in previous years.

- The clear concern of consumers defines the sales policies of retail operators, aimed at promoting and competing with promotions. It is not a good sign for weaker market participants who cannot afford the big, expected discounts - warns Dr Maria Andrzej Faliński, a long-time retail market observer.

The results of the survey also show that consumers more often than in previous months want to prepare shopping lists for themselves. A total of 48% of respondents declare so. However, 25% of people do not assume such an option. On the other hand, 23% do not have to change anything, because they always plan their expenses in this way, regardless of the circumstances and season.

- Increased activity in the last quarter has prompted consumers to make less spontaneous purchasing decisions and to create lists with specific items. Poles have already set goals for this time, such as Christmas presents. Additionally, people explain the pandemic by the desire for a more rational and systematic approach to shopping - adds Julita Pryzmont.

Consumers are looking for promotion

On the other hand, Dr. Faliński believes that shopping lists somehow protect some people from unplanned expenses. Some people are not in the habit of creating them. One quarter of Poles can afford to do some frivolous shopping. But almost a similar percentage are those who always look for the cheapest products.

- Previously, this type of behaviour was characteristic mainly of outlet centre customers. Today we also observe them in traditional galleries. Consumers come to them with precisely defined goals in order to supply themselves comprehensively. They try to avoid confrontation with other people in connection with the epidemic threat, so they appear less frequently. Moreover, the uncertainty of economic indicators, employment and earnings leads many Poles to plan their expenditures. I think this trend will intensify - says Bożena Gierszewska-Mroziewicz from the Neinver Group.

Most consumers, 32%, will look for goods in promotion in paper publications. 26% of respondents indicated applications and services with newspapers. In turn, 21% of customers intend to look for discounts directly in stores. 10% of respondents will look for discounts in a mixed way, i.e. in all the above mentioned places. Only 8% of them bet on direct web sites.

- The main tool to search for promotions is still newspapers. Consumers have the feeling that they can find the best promotions and current assortment in them. Those who still choose paper publications out of habit will change their habits and switch to electronic versions. This will be due to, among other things, easier and faster access to promotions, growing interest in ecological solutions, as well as progressive digitalization of the society - says Marcin Lenkiewicz from BLIX Group.

It should be remembered that recently, the availability of paper newspapers has been shrinking more and more due to, among other things, rising production costs and reduced distribution. Dr Łuczak emphasizes that the share of e-newspapers has been systematically increasing in relation to printed editions for several years now. The pandemic has only accelerated this phenomenon. The expert also predicts that next year the electronic version will dethrone the paper one for good.