Borders: Coupon-Seeking Customers 13 Percent <i>Less</i> Likely To Buy

Customers who seek coupons and who say are interested in sales and promotions are actually 13 percent less likely to make a purchase than those customers who say they want content, such as author interviews or book excerpts. That courtesy of some research that Borders did as it prepares to relaunch its Web site.

That conclusion came out of a Borders analysis of a weekly newsletter it has been sending to most of its loyalty program members. Although newsletters drove people into the stores, those consumers who wanted coupons were 31 percent less satisfied—and were 13 percent less likely to make a purchase—than those who sought content. "We could see that content seekers were far more loyal," Kevin Ertell, the E-business VP at the Borders Group, was quoted as saying to Stores Magazine.

The company that did the research for Borders—ForeSee Results—said the results were interesting but the fact that Borders cared enough to pay for any research at all was even more interesting. Many retailers are "just throwing everything in there not understanding the purpose and objective," ForeSee CEO Larry Freed was quoted as saying in that same Stores story.

When you think about it, Freed said, it makes sense. Consumers who focus on coupons are logically enough looking for bargains and they're not likely to be that brand loyal while consumers focusing on content--the actual books, for example--will tend to be more loyal and less price sensitive.