By Daniel Hunter

Britain’s ‘sale-seekers’ are increasingly seeking out sales online, fuelling the growth of online shopping in the UK, according to new research from Rakuten, which today (Thursday) reveals that more than a third (34%) of shoppers actively seek out sales when shopping online, while a further 56% admit to being seduced by eye-catching promotions.

As Rakuten launched its first ‘Super Sale’ in the UK, with unbeatable deals across the Marketplace on Rakuten’s this week, they commissioned a survey of 2,000 online shoppers to understand what effect sales have on consumers.

Research revealed that most shoppers have a positive emotional response to a sale, almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents stated that sales give them a ‘buzz’. Female shoppers were most susceptible; with 44% of women admitting that they feel satisfied when they bag a bargain. Younger shoppers were most likely to get a thrill from a sale, with three quarters of 18-24 year olds admitting sale shopping gives them a buzz.

Aside from price reductions providing a thrill, the colour red, which is often used to signify a sale, can also have a powerful stimulatory effect on shoppers, according to the Pantone Colour Institute.

Leatrice Eisemanm, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute said: “It’s no coincidence that red is so often the favoured colour for a sale, as the highest arc in the colour rainbow red actually provokes a physiological response. When we see the colour red, a chemical signal is sent from the pituitary to the adrenal gland and that injection of adrenalin gets our hearts pumping and our blood pressure rising. Little wonder then that the colour red is strongly associated with excitement and action, making a strategic and enticing colour choice for a sale.”

While shopping in a sale is a source of excitement for many shoppers, Rakuten found that eight out of ten (81%) Brits also consider non-sale items when shopping in a sale, demonstrating just how effective sales can be for retailers. The study found that over a quarter (27%) of shoppers frequently buy full-price items alongside those that are discounted. With only one in five (19%) shoppers ‘putting on the blinkers’ and sticking solely items included in the sale.

The study found that women are most aware of sales, with more than a third (37%) actively looking for reduced price items versus just 30 per cent of men. Nationwide, London is home to Britain’s biggest bargain hunters, with 44 per cent of shoppers in the capital admitting to being ‘sale-seekers’.

Shingo Murakami, Managing Director of Rakuten’s said: “Our research suggests that the thrill really is in the chase for Britain’s ‘sale-seekers’. For retailers looking to create shopping entertainment this festive season a sale will certainly grab shoppers attention, but what’s most interesting is that while shoppers set out looking for a good deal, it often leads to them to make full price purchases too. As with window displays, sales entice shoppers in and then the retailer has the opportunity to wow them with the wider collection and provide exceptional service so they buy beyond the bargains.”

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