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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – All Remote – Service Management Group (SMG), a global customer, employee and brand experience management partner to more than 500 brands, has published new research revealing how consumers intend to spend across all industries during the next 12 months.
SMG fielded the consumer behavior study to get a better understanding of how today’s economy is impacting spending habits. A nearly identical study was conducted in April of this year, with the latest iteration showing concerns about financial wellbeing even greater than in the spring.
Due to recent political transitions—this most recent study was conducted prior to the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the resignation of Liz Truss—union strikes, energy caps and inflation, 63% of UK respondents believe their finances will take a hit over the next year. This is a 9 percentage point increase from April. Consumers in the US are slightly more optimistic, with one in four expecting their finances to worsen.
With feedback from more than 15,000 consumers across the US and UK, here are three things to know about how consumers plan both to open and close their wallets in the coming months.
1. Consumers are trimming the non-essentials—even for the holidaysConsumers are scaling back their discretionary spending. The restaurant industry is feeling it more than most, with nearly 70% of UK respondents—a 12 percentage point increase since April—and nearly 60% of US respondents planning to eat out less. Non-essential retailers won’t escape unscathed either, with nearly half of US consumers and almost 60% of UK consumers preparing to spend less on holiday shopping than they did last year.
2. The fundamentals remain the focusWhile a significant number of consumers are planning to spend less on non-essential expenses, which include entertainment and travel, fundamentals like groceries, automotive services and healthcare are taking less of a hit. Also worth noting: 39% of UK consumers and 24% of US consumers plan to cancel subscriptions (e.g. Amazon Prime, Netflix). UK consumers are generally planning to cut back at a higher rate than US consumers.
3. Price is important, but value reigns supremeConsumers are seeking deals and promotions when considering where to purchase. Retail consumers plan to shop at discount stores more frequently, while restaurant consumers are ordering from cheaper establishments and avoiding delivery fees. However, while nearly half of restaurant and retail consumers list promotions or deals as a top consideration when choosing a brand, more than 60% revealed quality of food/products as the most important factor. That’s even more than when compared to April. Value—which factors in price and customer satisfaction—must remain a focus for all industries.
“It’s clear consumers are following the economy and global happenings closely, and are making spending decisions accordingly,” said SMG Research Director Kurt Cederman. “Brands that stay ahead of these consumer trends and prioritize high-value, high-quality offerings will be in the strongest position to gain and retain loyal customers, and SMG has the platform and expertise to enable that proactivity.”
To learn more about how SMG helps brands change how they act on customer insights to drive stronger business outcomes, visit the Success Stories page.
SMG is a leading experience management (XM) provider, accelerating value by changing how brands act on customer + employee insights. With a rich 30-year history rooted in The Service Profit Chain, SMG is the industry’s only software with a service (SwaS) provider—uniquely pairing an enterprise platform with professional services to help brands generate new revenue, grow existing revenue, reduce churn + detractors, and drive operational efficiencies. To learn more about our customer, employee, and brand experience management solutions, visit www.smg.com/.
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