Consumers Recharged and Electronically Shopping
According to a new survey of consumer retail spending and trends from Deloitte, 55% of consumers think the economy has started to recover from the recession, and 64% indicate their household financial situation is the same or better compared with a year ago. In addition, 63% of respondents said they are planning to spend the same or more at retailers this year than they did in 2009.
Despite this show of confidence, consumers are mindful of events that could impact their financial situation, says the report:
- 54% of consumers say rising energy prices could cause them to hold back their spending in coming months
- 45% say higher taxes, and 41% say lack of improvement in the job market, could do the same
- 27% believe that the economy is recovering but may fall back into recession
Stacy Janiak, U.S. Vice Chairman of Deloitte, says "Consumers... (are) picking up on the signals that point to brighter days ahead... the majority of those surveyed indicate their net worth is stabilizing, if not improving... retailers should be encouraged by consumers' tone as they plan for... fall and winter selling seasons."
Consumers have taken notice of the operational changes that retailers made in response to the recessionary downshift in demand:
- 50% of consumers surveyed believe that retailers are currently offering more sales or deals in response to the recession
- 53% also think there is less sales help in the stores today
- 43% say there is less inventory in the stores
45% of consumers surveyed said they shopped at certain stores to save money during the recession, and 71% of consumers plan to continue to do so even as their financial situation improves.
"Retailers should consider expanding their customer analytics capabilities to make merchandising, staffing and inventory decisions... to adapt to shifts in customer demand... and... apply these insights to localize their product selection... " said Janiak.
Consumers are demonstrating new, post-recessionary shopping patterns linked to social, mobile and online tools, says the report:
- 33% of consumers are purchasing more online compared with a year ago, the 75% of consumers indicate that they look online for store, price or product information before or during their in-store shopping
- 56% of respondents say they use social networking sites, and among them:
- 43% interact with retailers through these channels.
- 64% of them do so to find out about promotions
- 48% browse products
- 35% review the recommendations found on those sites
51% of consumers say that an online product review has influenced their decision to buy a product, or to not buy a product (50%).
"Consumers are tuning in to online conversations to make informed buying decisions and... interact with retailers," said Janiak. "These platforms offer retailers a measurable and low-cost entry to reach consumers... "
21% of consumers have used a Web-enabled mobile phone in the shopping process:
- 36% of these consumers have shopped on a website
- 35% have compared product prices
- 29% have researched product information online
- 25% have purchased a product on a website while using their mobile phone
For additional information, please visit Deloitte here.
The survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted online by an independent research company between May 1 and May 3, 2010. The survey polled a sample of 1,052 consumers and has a margin of error for the entire sample of plus or minus three percentage points.