British Consumers Do Not Trust Special Offers Says Nectar eShops


For a long time now we have seen lots of offers in the shops, on the telly and in newspapers but according to research by Nectar eShops, British shoppers have become cynical about special offers and freebies. This may be down to recent reports that have shown supermarkets special offers are not really special offers and a number of their buy one get one free offers have worked out more expensive than the products were before the offer.


Nectar eShops believe with the British consumer become so cynical about special offers and freebies we could be missing out on millions of pounds of savings at the till and online.

The study, commissioned by Nectar eShops, which is using the gift horse analogy in its latest advertising campaign, found that 53% of the nation is immediately sceptical when informed of a special deal, offer or free gift; whilst one in five admit to missing out by simply forgetting to redeem offers before their deadline.

‘Study shows sceptical Brits choose to look a gift horse in the mouth’

Of the 53% who claimed to be sceptical, three quarters are likely to be turned off by an offer that seems too good to be true, whilst other reasons given include not trusting the company providing the offer, receiving too many offers and a previous experience of falling for a scam. Men (58%) are more sceptical than women (48%), whilst age is also a factor, with shoppers becoming more cynical the older they get.

The offer that shoppers are most wary of is a free holiday (35%) closely followed by a cash prize (25%) and a free car (18%).  Savvy Brits are far more likely to take advantage of offers that give them instant rewards, are realistic and credible, coming from a reputable company and are lower value, such as buy-one-get-one-free deals and money off vouchers.

Attaching a famous face to a particular deal doesn’t always work out either, as 25% claim a celebrity endorsement has the greatest impact on their decision not to purchase something.

Dr. Dimitrios Tsivrikos, consumer psychologist from London Metropolitan University, comments; “Research shows that shoppers are only willing to take up offers when they have explored the three “C”s – credibility, context and clarity. Firstly, consumers want to know the company is credible by checking it out online. Secondly, there needs to be some association between the context of an offer and their needs or lifestyle. Finally, consumers want clarity as to how they can take up the offer. Together the three “C”s provide a platform of trust where consumers feel safe when taking advantage of offers.”

The Nectar eShops survey also found:

  • Those living in the East of England are the most sceptical of special offersWomen are less likely than men to fall victim to a bogus offer A third of Brits immediately put their guard up when phoned directly about an offerTV is the most trusted medium of being informed about an offer, with less than 1% feeling sceptical about deals they’ve seen on the box


James Frost, Nectar Marketing Director, comments; “They say you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but it’s encouraging to see that the savvy British public aren’t easily suckered by bogus offers. Having said this, it’s still important to take advantage of the right deals, especially in these harder times, as these can make a big difference to your weekly shopping budget.

“With Nectar eShops we have more than 500 fantastic partner brands online, who reward Nectar cardholders on their spend. We really feel it’s a no-brainer for online shoppers to log on to and make sure that they earn Nectar points on as many of their online purchases as possible.”