Recession Bait: What Consumers Say They Will Want During A Downturn

To hear the pundits tell it, the U.S. is now careening toward a recession. Email marketers might well be wondering: What should we do? 

Here’s a clue: shoppers want savings on products they normally buy, according to a study from Aki Technologies, working with TapResearch.

Of those polled, 54% want those savings. They also want: 

  • Online purchase availability — 35.22%
  • Availability of items at your preferred retailer location — 34.11%
  • Timelines for re-stocking popular or out of stock products — 29.67% 
  • Personalized notifications when items you normally buy have been restocked — 26.64%

Of course, there are disparities by age and location. 

For instance, people ages 18-24 demand online purchase availability above all else, while every other group seeks savings. Specifically, 34.33% of those in the 45-54 category want the latter, along with 33.76% in the 55-64 grouping.  



The differences are even greater when analyzed by location. 

In Alaska, 50% expect online availability and half look to local retailers — that’s it. Half in Wyoming expect personalized notifications and half expect online purchase availability. 

Will consumers remain loyal during a recession? Not as much as marketers would like — 33.61% say they are somewhat loyal, and 26.03% say they are very loyal, while 27.85% are indifferent and 12% say they are never loyal.  

Again, it depends on age. Of consumers ages 18-24, 29.49% say they are very loyal — and that puts them in the top category here. But they are also most likely to say they are never loyal — 16.67% claim this, versus 6.11% in the 55-64 cohort. 

During the pandemic, people switched brands for these reasons: 

  • Due to Out-of-Stock — 35.22%
  • To try something new — 18.37% 
  • The price was lower — 29.67%
  • I did not switch brands — 16.75%

When younger consumers switched, 29.49% say it was to try something new. And 29.49% jumped when items were out of stock. In contrast, over 41% apiece in the 45-54 and 55-64 categories cited the reason as items out-of-stock.  

Brands that picked up new customers during the pandemic should not get too comfortable: 42.99% are only somewhat likely to continue buying from them, and 22.70% are very likely.  

Millennials -- those in the 35-44 age range -- are most likely, at 26.76%. However, 41.78% of that group and similar percentages among older shoppers are somewhat likely. 

The total of somewhat-likely shoppers is 100% each in Delaware, the District of Columbia and New Hampshire.  

The takeaway? 

“During a recession, brands can retain loyalists, but they must fight harder on behalf of the consumer to do so,” says Melody Lin, director of client strategy and insights for Aki Technologies. 

Lin adds, “Quality, consistency and value savings are key for not only retaining loyalists but also to convert new consumers into your brand advocates.”

Aki Technologies, an Inmar Intelligence company, and TapResearch surveyed 1,000 consumers. 


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