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Online Trends

Published October 16th 2020

Consumer Demand For Sales is Unseasonably High

As 2020 begins to wind down, people are especially keen to grab a bargain.

2020 has been an unpredictable storm of chaos. And in the midst of the storm, it seems that sale or clearance signs are flying about everywhere.

This had us thinking – as consumer purse strings tighten, is interest in sales higher than usual? And how could this impact retailers?

Sales and clearance conversation is climbing higher than average as 2020 goes on

When we looked at sale conversations from June 1 to September 30 2020 (excluding terms like ‘for sale’), we found that sale mentions were 19% higher than average levels in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

But why?

It’s not just companies promoting their sale promotions to encourage spending during lockdown – it’s actually consumers discussing where to get the best price.

Over the last seven months, we found 336k mentions of discounts (both promotions and recommendations), and 331k mentions of price (both promotions and recommendations). The biggest theme was people sharing and promoting good prices they had found.

We also found 222k mentions of coupons, with people sharing and asking for coupon codes online. Another big conversation was free delivery – often it encouraged someone to make the purchase – with 133k mentions.

Unfortunately, part of this increase could also have been driven by store closures. We found 30k mentions including words like “closing down” or “shutting down” in sale and clearance conversation on social.

The popularity of sale content

We also used our content analysis tool, BuzzSumo, to explore sale and clearance related content over the last five years.

We learned that engagement (people interacting with content online through likes or shares) with sale content was 14% higher from March to September, compared to the seven months prior.

It’s worth noting that publishers releasing sale-based content in the last seven months fell by 20% in comparison to the seven months prior. Despite this, demand from readers continued to increase.

This is a further indication that consumers are striving to find the best price for the items they purchase in these financially tough times.

Consumers want sales

This year, people are unseasonably interested in sales compared to previous years. We also know that people are preparing for the holiday season early this year.

Plan ahead. Promoting any sales, especially around most-wished-for items, a little earlier than normal this year could help your business stand out during a financially tough and noisy promotional period.

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