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Saving money is the top priority for shoppers in cost-of-living crisis: study

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Shoppers who are cutting back on spending in the cost-of-living crisis say saving on non-essential purchases is their top priority – and most will not pay more for sustainable products, new research suggests. 

Capgemini questioned 11,300 adults across 11 countries including the UK for its What Matters to Today’s Consumer report.

It found that across the markets, 61% of shoppers were concerned about their financial situation – with millennials (66%) and Generation X (64%) the most worried and Baby Boomers (55%) the least worried. More than four in 10 (44%) said they were reducing their overall spending – 42% in the UK alone – with 73% making fewer impulse purchases, 69% cutting back on non-essential expenses – from electronics to eating out – or delaying luxury purchases. Some 67% said brands and retailers should offer lower prices for the products their families need, while among UK respondents 70% expected retailers to create discounts to help them afford essential items. And 80% of UK respondents say they will be more loyal to companies that help them get through difficult times.

Sustainability and social media

More than six in 10 (62%) UK shoppers say there is no need for sustainable products to be more expensive. Asked if they would pay more for sustainable products, 41% of global respondents said they would. That’s down from 57% in 2020.

Meanwhile, some 70% of those buying products on social media say they trust what influencers say about products. Almost a quarter (23%) of UK respondents said they had discovered a new product through an influencer and 18% had gone on to make a purchase. Globally, almost half (48%) of Gen Z respondents who buy online say they had discovered new products through online influencers, while 32% went on to buy. 

”There’s an opportunity for retail businesses to dramatically reimagine their operational strategy in order to weather this storm and pass on price benefits to consumers,” says Lindsey Mazza, global retail lead, Capgemini Group. “By identifying new revenue streams, creating new markets, transforming operations, and optimising costs, businesses can succeed without compromising on sustainability or overall customer experience.”

The Capgemini report questioned shoppers who had bought groceries or health and beauty products in the previous six months during October and November 2022

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