The CMA is drawing up plans to outlaw misleading price promotions. Additionally, 4 major stores are under official investigation after a ‘Super-complaint’ was made against them by the consumer group Which?. Does this herald a new intolerance to consumer price deals?
Bartering and horse-trading are innate market practices, an instinctive consumer behaviour. Dealing is the essential theatre of consumerism. If we take these aspects away will our in-store experience be diminished?
We went beyond the published statistics to talk and walk the aisles on accompanied shopping safaris.
Deal denial does evoke a different shopping satisfaction. Striking a deal is about interacting with the store. Playing the trading game and using cognitive skills:
“I feel I've discovered something and get a warm glow from buying two for the price of one. Okay, it means that I won't need to buy the next can of shaving foam for a couple of months but I feel on top!”
Pricing puritanism was appreciated in the discount environment (you know the two stores I'm referring to).
“The shopping is easier. They have done all the negotiating for you so you can tune out of the deals and just get on with your shopping without having to worry. “
In this situation the sense of market trading satisfaction was more related to the initial store selection rather than the shopping experience.
“It is the difference between taking the bus, sitting back knowing you get there or driving yourself to the supermarket, you are free to make decisions – right and wrong.”
Food shopping maybe a chore but we should not forget for many shopping is a leisure activity. By altering the ground rules we are changing an interactive consumer sport into a drudge, lacking stimulation and satisfaction that may impact on fundamental store perceptions.