Social networking and voucher code websites change the way consumers shop
11/02/2009

Social networking and voucher code websites such as VoucherSeeker (http://www.voucherseeker.co.uk/vouchercodes) are changing the way consumer shop. No longer content with shopping in the high street, 25% of consumers are now shopping on the virtual high street for better deals.

Online PR News – 02-November-2009 – – Social networking and voucher code websites such as VoucherSeeker (http://www.voucherseeker.co.uk/vouchercodes) are changing the way consumer shop. No longer content with shopping in the high street, 25% of consumers are now shopping on the virtual high street for better deals.

A survey commissioned by The Loyalty Practice at HS&P has found that 53% of British adults who use the internet say they are conducting more transactions online, whilst 74% of people compare price products online.

“The internet is an extremely valuable tool for consumers,” states Ed Wilkinson, VoucherSeeker Director. “Sites such as VoucherSeeker which offer discount vouchers and discount codes for money off products, or comparison sites are extremely useful to families and consumers shopping on a budget.”

Vouchers and promotional codes sites such as VoucherSeeker are seeing more consumers looking online for voucher codes in order to get money off. However, the online community goes further than searching for Vodafone promotional codes (http://www.voucherseeker.co.uk/voucher-codes/8c07f9b2387a79aa4860f829cdf713e7/vodafone-promotional-code.html) and Currys discount codes. (http://www.voucherseeker.co.uk/voucher-codes/a62ac26940c49940f7f8da1eabd901e1/currys-discount-codes.html)

Society’s values are no longer held by the community. People live in one place and work in another and tend to keep themselves to themselves. Instead, new online communities have emerged which have a greater impact on society.

Asda President and Chief Executive Andy Bond has stated that consumers are losing trust and confidence in big corporations and are placing it in family and local communities. Bond believes that a rise in consumer knowledge and information sharing on the internet will empower customers. The way they shop and what they expect from retailers will change.

Ed Wilkinson agrees with this, stating: “Consumers now expect retailers to offer discount vouchers and discount codes. If not, the retailer is viewed in a more negative light by the consumer.”

Bond suggests that in the future customers will shape businesses, and will demand what they want, instead of retailers dictating what customers should want.

Consumers are starting play a more active role in the prices they pay for items, turning to voucher code sites such as VoucherSeeker for money off products and understanding how to use the internet to find the best discounts.

The internet, however, now plays an even more vital role for consumers, not only in locating vouchers and promotional codes for discounts, but also in customer service and satisfaction.

Bond has made a valid point in that consumers are losing trust and confidence in big corporations. The survey commissioned by The Loyalty Practice at HS&P found that one in four customers are less brand loyal, 23% of people stating they were a bit less or much less loyal to brands in 2009 than in 2008.

However, 33% of consumers were loyal to supermarkets. Perhaps this is due to supermarkets ability to react quickly to the recession and consumer demands. All supermarkets have seen a rise in own brand product sales, whilst some offer more comfort foods to consumers and others, such as Tesco, offer consumers more points and rewards for the money they do spend. The big four supermarkets also have an online presence on discount vouchers sites offering regular discounts on certain products.

The single factor most likely to influence loyalty to a brand in the long term was ‘exclusive privileges offered to frequent buyers.’ Perhaps offering a wide range of discount codes and vouchers, or more exclusive promotional codes online would go further than retailers think. Some retailers have used social networking sites such as Twitter in order to exclusively launch new products, whilst website Compare the Market launched their new advert featuring Meer cat Aleksandr Orlov exclusively on YouTube.

Social networking sites, therefore, should not be overlooked by retailers. Research by Harris Interactive for Tealeaf found that 13% of consumers who had encountered problems with online transactions had shared these experiences via a blog or social networking websites.

84% of consumers are more likely to check online for product reviews before making a purchasing decision. 74% of people agreed they would be influenced by negative comments they read online. 51% of people agreed that social media content directly influenced how they conducted online transactions, whilst 75% of consumers agreed that it affected their choice of vendor. Social networking sites are the new hubs for people to engage communities. A bad report on a social networking site is highly damaging for consumers.

However, social media is not completely bad for the retailer. 35% of consumers would respond to a positive review on social networking sites.

According to blogger Jeremiah Owyang, this is just the beginning of social networking. He has suggested that in the future people will connect with each other rather than companies and that consumers will rely on their peers to make online decisions. Socially connected consumers will shift the power away from brands and communities will start to state what they want from brands and products.

The internet is now a powerful tool for consumers, enabling them to compare prices and get discounts using voucher code sites such as VoucherSeeker (http://www.voucherseeker.co.uk/vouchercodes) for money off products. It also enables people to communicate about brands and to read reviews about other consumers experiences. This is extremely positive for the retailer if the review is a positive one, however, this can be extremely damaging if the review is not.

About VoucherSeeker
http://www.voucherseeker.co.uk is a leading UK voucher codes website. It features all the latest vouchers, voucher codes and discount codes from a wide range of shops and top brands. Users can use the site to find the latest discount vouchers and promotional codes to save money on many products and services. VoucherSeeker also provides its users with details of all the latest sales and promotions.

For further information, please contact Deborah Read at VoucherSeeker: email: deborah.read@clickangel.co.uk direct line: +44 113 380 0891.

VoucherSeeker® and ClickAngel® are registered trademarks of ClickAngel Ltd. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.