With Inflation at an all-time high, cost of living escalating and talk of a recession around the corner, consumer confidence is falling and is expected to Christmas shopping across the board, with almost two thirds of shoppers planning to spend less this year – even on Black Friday bargains.
According to McKinsey & Company’s latest UK Consumer Pulse Survey, the majority (58%) of UK consumers plan to do less Holiday shopping this year with 8% planning on doing no shopping at all. This lack of intent to spend is highest in younger age groups with 64% of both Millennials and Gen X planning on doing less Holiday shopping than previous years.
This is backed up by a separate study of 1000 UK consumers by Fluent Commerce tracking spending behaviours and intentions ahead of the holiday season, which finds that current economic conditions are impacting the spending plans of over 60% of shoppers.
According to Fluent’s data, nearly half (44%) of consumers say they plan a mix of online and in-store shopping, while 12% will shop purely in store, same as the previous year.
When choosing to spend with one retailer over another, free delivery is important to over three quarters (79%) of online shoppers, with next day delivery ‘very important’ to two thirds (65%) of all respondents.
Looking at product availability, most consumers (68%) said it would damage their view of a brand or store if an item they went to purchase wasn’t in stock having been informed online that it was. Unsurprisingly, three quarters said if a product was sold out, they would go to a competitor site.
“Because of the understandable degree of spending caution among the majority of holiday season shoppers, retailers need to raise their game and adapt quickly if they are to maximise margins on every sale at this time of year,” says Nicola Kinsella, SVP of global marketing at Fluent Commerce. “Keeping up to date with consumer preferences and shopping trends is vital, but we know many retailers struggle to give shoppers the kind of experience that determines both engagement and loyalty. As the data reveals, failing to take control of their inventory accuracy will simply mean today’s savvy shoppers will go elsewhere. And changes are they won’t come back.”