Inflation is on the mind of the consumer.
According to 84.51°’s June Consumer Digest, the Cincinnati-based data company, consumer concern is only continuing to rise and projections for the future are getting worse. To understand evolving consumer sentiment around inflation, the company conducted a consumer survey which revealed things to be ultimately severe with 73 percent of consumers saying they are “extremely concerned” and 68 percent saying they believe things will be much worse in the next six months.
This concern is cause for immediate behavior change, as found in the report, with 90 percent of consumers saying they are making adjustments to shopping behaviors and 42 percent saying they are even buying fewer items on their trip to the grocery store. Another 59 percent also said they will be purchasing fewer health and beauty care products as a result of inflation — mass retailers were cited as the top destination for these health and beauty purchases.
Meanwhile, in PwC’s latest global consumer insights pulse survey, researchers said while inflation wasn’t the focus of the survey, it became clear that for respondents it was of high importance and touched every consideration.
Similar to other reports, the company found that inflation is causing consumers to plan to reduce spending over several categories. When asked, consumers said they will be cutting back on spending on luxury, premium goods (37 percent of respondents), dining out (34 percent), arts, culture and sports (30 percent) and fashion (25 percent).
According to the survey, other factors impacting the shopping experience include ongoing supply chain issues, most prominently being unable to purchase a product because it is sold out. Consumers also shared difficulty with longer delivery times for online purchases and longer lines due to busier store locations. These supply chain issues are directly affecting consumer behaviors, where even amid the disruption and inflation, consumers’ demand for seamless shopping experiences has not wavered.
When they are shopping, PwC’s survey found that consumers are considering ESG in purchase decisions with governance (41 percent) and social (40 percent) factors outweighing a company’s environmental commitments (30 percent).
Moreover, wanting to know more about who they are shopping with is impacting, even more, purchase decisions today than before. New consumer research from FullStory, the digital experience intelligence company, shows that amid inflation challenges consumers are reacting by doing more research and ultimately switching brands to fight high costs.
With the report finding that 51 percent of consumers are researching every purchase more diligently and 64 percent of respondents saying they have already cut back on purchases looking at the last 30 days, it’s imperative to get everything right when given the opportunity to interact.
But what are consumers researching? Much of what consumers searching for is centered around combating higher prices, looking for coupons or discount codes (42 percent) while another 33 percent are looking to find lower-priced or discount brands.
Consumers also reported that during this research there is the opportunity to win or lose favor based on the overall experience. Top issues that cause consumers to leave a site or app include slow load times (57 percent), broken links (47 percent), broken buttons (38 percent) and broken forms (38 percent). Finding a buy now, pay later option, however, is a quick way to engage consumers positively, with 13 percent saying they are opting for the flexible solution options to deal with inflation.
Overall, FullStory’s report found that retailers are leading the way when it comes to digital experience intelligence, with 91 percent of respondents rating their online retail experiences a three or higher — the highest across all verticals.
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