This is one of the (many) consequences of inflation.

The French make more use of price comparators and applications listing discounts to save money.

They want to find the cheapest basket and unearth important promotions on everyday products.

“The French are very attentive to price and promotions” since the war in Ukraine and the decline in purchasing power, assures Franck Lehuédé, from the Research Center for the Study and Observation of Living Conditions (Crédoc).

According to INSEE, the increase in food prices amounted to 4.3% over one year last month.

In total, 56% of French people "compare prices on the Internet" when buying a product and 92% of them do so "overall" (on the Internet or in stores), according to the "Consumer trends" survey. carried out by Crédoc in March.

In addition, nearly one in two French people (48%) say they are “reducing their consumer spending compared to what they expected at the start of the year”, a direct consequence of the price increase, says Franck Lehuédé.

This is most often the case "low-income households, families," he says.

“No one is against saving money”

But for Guillaume Durand, France and Belgium director of Shopmium, a cashback application allowing consumers to be reimbursed for part of their in-store purchases, “no one is against saving money”.

30% of app users are from CSP+, he said.

“Before, we saw the promophiles, who had binders filled with promotional coupons, now, this profile gives way to the average consumer” who wants to optimize his food budget.

The Shopmium application, which allows partner brands to offer discounts to its users, recently saw its number of subscribers jump: at the end of March 2022, the company had 7 million users, which corresponds to a 23% increase in registrations this quarter compared to the first quarter of 2021, assures Guillaume Durand.

In total, 4.5 million euros were reimbursed to Shopmium users in 2021. if they are less essential than other foods.

Consumers go crazy online less

Same observation at France Verif, a shopping assistant offering a price comparison.

The platform, which has 450,000 users, noted an influx between April and May 2022 of searches for "best prices, discount coupons or vouchers" in the food sector: +81% (72% all sectors combined), according to its communications manager.

Where to look for good deals?

Digital “can be seen as the best way to find a business offering competitive prices on a particular product,” he says.

The hunt for low prices may seem easier to do online.

But on food, “67% of total searches concern vouchers to be redeemed in physical stores”, and not on the Internet.

The significant return of customers to physical stores with the end of health restrictions weighed on food e-commerce: it fell by 4.3% in the 1st quarter of 2022, according to the panelists.

For the specialized research firm IRI, consumers shopping online tend to better control their budget and splurge less.

They make fewer impulse purchases (4%, compared to 16% in physical stores).

And can eliminate products more easily if the final amount is a little too salty: an online basket is easier to empty than a shopping cart, notes Franck Lehuédé.

Although the increase in the cost of transport and raw materials weighs on their finances, "the brands of the large distribution continue to make promotions", affirms Laurent Landel, president of Bonial, French company listing the catalogs of promotions of chains of stores.

"Some hypermarkets offer between 500 and 1,000 promotions each week," he says.

A "pretext" to attract more customers.

With the key to a turnover where promotions are taking up more and more space: more than 20% of sales are made within this framework, according to him.

On the consumer side, the hunt for promotions and price comparison sites represent "a significant source of purchasing power", says Laurent Landel.

But that “takes time”.

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  • Inflation

  • purchasing power

  • Consumption

  • Economy

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