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Heavy discounting needed to drive Christmas sales as consumers reluctant to splash out

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Despite consumers’ unwillingness to spend more, many could be persuaded to splash out on a purchase by retailers offering relevant discounts (44%) or items at a low price (46%).

Additionally, just over a third (36%) of consumers stated that convenience could influence how much they spend this year. 

Research by Epsilon-Conversant of 1000 UK consumers finds that nearly three quarters (73%) of consumers believe they will not spend more for Christmas this year, however they could be tempted by discounts and convenience when making their purchasing choices.

“With furlough and job losses, it’s unsurprising that consumers aren’t spending more – but they are still spending – so this is a good opportunity to win new and loyal customers,” explains Elliott Clayton, SVP of Epsilon-Conversant. “Just over a fifth [22%] think they will spend more on food this year, but this same optimism isn’t shared across all retail sectors. Marketers need to ensure they’re being sympathetic of consumers’ circumstances and listening to their needs, ensuring that they offer what consumers are really looking for, to secure their share of spending.” 

Beyond the consideration of price and discounts, focusing on free and reliable delivery was also revealed to be increasingly important for consumers. Almost half (46%) might spend more money if they were offered free delivery and over a third (37%) would spend more for reliable delivery. On the other hand, only 31% are looking for quick delivery.

 With consumers not crying out for speedy next day delivery, this presents an opportunity for brands to make savings of their own, as long as they keep customers in the know about when products will arrive. 

Retail brands targeting younger generations could also be in for a windfall this Christmas. Over a third (36%) of 18-24-year olds and two-fifths of 25-35-year olds stated that they plan to spend more this year compared to just 7% of 45-54 year olds. And while overall sales might not be as high during the festive season, it could help marketers build new and lasting relationships, especially as two-thirds (68%) of consumers are willing to give personal details in return for discounts. 

Clayton concludes: “Consumers are not only spending less, they are also increasingly time poor. Ensuring that products are delivered when promised, and that the entire online experience is smooth and convenient is incredibly important. But most importantly, marketers must make the most of this opportunity to establish and develop both new and existing customer relationships. It’s not clear how much longer this pandemic may continue, but either way, teams shouldn’t neglect the first rule of marketing: build the brand.” 

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