Consumer Shopping Trends: Survey and Insights

Today’s consumer is rarely content to select the first product they see. As evidence, consider that there are Web browser plug-ins to search for a better price, coupon code aggregators to get every last discount, and abandoned “shopping carts” left across ecommerce sites while customers comparison shop. For their part, online merchants have grown more targeted and sophisticated: personalized banner ads, pop-ups, merchant emails and the like. Not all sales pitches are online, of course. TV and radio advertising, coupon mailers, sales displays in storefront windows – it’s a.” For consumers, savvy comparison shopping and multiple forms of advertising is increasingly an accepted part of life. This is just as true when it comes to purchasing electricity and natural gas for a consumer’s home. Shopping for energy can involve multiple sales channels, including a direct mail piece from a supplier, an insert with the month’s utility bill, a kiosk in a retail store, online ads, radio and television commercials, or a telephone solicitation.

Last year, ACCES commissioned a survey to determine the shopping preferences of consumers who were retail energy customers. The survey questions included in this study identified consumers based on being a current energy choice customer, and compared and contrasted consumer preferences around product offerings, energy innovation, and competition. The sample size for the survey is 206 third-party energy consumers in Maryland. Responses were gathered via online interviews with members of a representative panel of Maryland residents. Demographics were adjusted to reflect the population from which the sample was drawn. The survey was conducted January 28 – 30, 2020 by Harper Polling.

Full report is available to read here.

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