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Acosta Sales & Marketing is out with its bi-annual "The Why? Behind The Buy" report, which the company says "shows that the sluggish economy continues to divide consumers into two income groups, further influencing current purchasing trends."

Among the results of the report:

• "Despite divergent shopping behaviors, shoppers with annual incomes of less than $45,000, and shoppers with annual incomes over $100,000 are making purchasing decisions based on similar factors, including price: -- 55 percent of shoppers bought more items on sale than last year."

• "71 percent of shoppers plan their trip before going to the store," while "88 percent of shoppers have bought Buy One, Get One offers," and "50 percent of shoppers cut coupons."

• "The average monthly grocery budget has increased 11 percent to $309, reflecting higher unit prices. Shoppers are spending three times more on groceries than on eating out."

• "Shoppers are creatures of habit, with 84 percent buying what they have bought before and three out of 10 planning to continue purchasing store brands even when their budgets increase."

• "Today's consumer is a multichannel shopper, moving across store channels to find the best deals and products, which is especially prevalent among higher income shoppers."

• "The influence of digital marketing continues to grow as shoppers strive to increase productivity. Shoppers primarily use digital for pre-trip planning, with 36 percent of shoppers logging onto home computers, mainly to find coupons, and 20 percent of shoppers visiting brand and retailer websites."
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