How Digital Marketing Can Spur Tax Refund Shopping

With the holidays behind us, the promise of big tax refunds over the next couple of months creates the next big shopping event of the year. Last year, approximately 70% of taxpayers got money back, and the average refund was about $2,800.

New research shows that 65% of consumers plan to prioritize paying off debts and lowering expenses in 2022, but that doesn’t count out retailers seeking to capitalize on splurge spending – especially during tax refund season.

Although expenses are on the rise and saving is top of mind, shoppers still want to make purchases and plan fun experiences. Well-timed emails, easy and convenient online purchases, enticing discounts, and new technology will entice careful spenders to indulge in life’s little luxuries. 

Top consumer priorities for 2022 

According to research findings from Vericast, consumers have three big priorities for 2022. This window into the current consumer mindset gives marketers insight into how to deploy data and technology to influence purchases: 

  1. Planning is important, but there is still room to indulge: While 40% of individuals are planning to put more money into savings and 65% plan to prioritize managing expenses, consumers are deliberately leaving some room for indulgence. In fact, over half said that a sale would drive an impulse purchase. To take advantage of these impulse purchases, marketers should focus on sending timely deals that are simple and easy for shoppers to utilize. Brands should never make consumers hunt for savings, as 64% have reported wanting advertisers to make coupons and discounts easier for them to find. 
  1. Feelings are torn between ‘nesting’ & taking flight: Consumers are split between wanting to spend money on sprucing up their homes and venturing out on vacation. However, both groups agree that they want 2022 to be an upgrade from last year, whether that is at home or away. Research found that 44% of consumers plan to focus their purchases on ‘nesting’ in 2022, while 46% want to spend on venturing outside of the home. When it comes to booking a vacation, marketers should help individuals embrace their spontaneity. One way to do this is by using QR codes — almost half of shoppers said they like ads with QR codes with coupons and 40% said they like ads with QR codes that provide additional information on a product or experience. Likewise, nesters would also appreciate easy access to product details and where to buy home items via QR codes in ads.
  1. Meaningful rewards trump lavish living: Consumers want to feel good about themselves – and like savvy shoppers – when they depart with their cash. With this in mind, marketers should concentrate on creating loyalty programs that make shoppers feel special. Why? Over one third of consumers are more likely to respond to retailers that reward their loyalty with personalized offers, and 35% said the same for those that make them feel like valued customers. In fact, consumers want the brands they shop with to reach out about sales and deals at least once a week. These promotions – especially when supplemented with a ‘one-click’ experience – could be the difference between a consumer choosing to spend or save. Nearly half of consumers said that they prefer ads that offer the option to add items directly to their cart. 

Use technology to deliver value 

Beyond offering timely discounts, leveraging new technology that enhances the customer experience and rewarding loyalty, marketers can motivate spending and capitalize on consumers’ upswing in optimism by helping them feel in control. Nearly 40% of consumers expect advertisers to reach out to them using the latest technology tools, and data shows that millennial parents are particularly influenced by technology-enabled shopping and marketing. 

Overall, consumers are most interested in brand interactions that support savings and take the uncertainty out of shopping. The brands that use smart marketing tools to deliver value and enable frictionless shopping experiences will win consumer loyalty in 2022.  

Matthew Tilley is executive director of marketing at Vericast.

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