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Half of UK consumers feel special offers are ‘misleading’

Half (50%) of consumers surveyed feel that some special offers are misleading and would result in them paying more than the actual value of the item, according to research conducted by Instantly, the largest provider of audiences and insights tools

The survey looked at consumer opinions of special offers and the reasoning behind whether they take advantage of these offers – or not. For example, just under half of the respondents (49%) said they ‘often’ take advantage of special offers.

In the competitive supermarket sector, Tesco came out on top with almost half (47%) of respondents choosing it as the supermarket that most regularly offers the best deals. Asda came in second place (37%) with Sainsbury’s and Morrisons in joint third (26%).

Almost two thirds (63%) of consumers answered no when asked whether they have ever felt ‘ripped-off’ by a supermarket although just under half (49%) said supermarkets should be regularly monitored by independent authorities. 60% also feel supermarkets should be penalised in the case of any misleading special offers being uncovered.

Other key findings include:

  • Almost three quarters (73%) have bought a product they don’t usually buy just because it was on special offer.
  • The same amount of respondents (73%) chose Buy One Get One Free as the special offer they most regularly take advantage of.
  • 83% of respondents chose saving money as the main reason behind taking advantage of special offers whilst only 20% said the reason was eye-catching advertising, suggesting retailers could do more to make consumers aware.

Ben Leet, UK MD of Instantly, said: “Customer loyalty still plays a big part in consumer habits and the success of retailers. Supermarkets in particular need to remain competitive in such a tough market and must ensure they do not mislead customers in the process. Our research shows which brands are leading the way, and what must be done in order to retain, or gain, top spot.”

Instantly conducted this study on 21st September and was completed by 1,516 members of the general population.

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