Consumer Spending Habits

During the pandemic, businesses had to scale back operations or close, but shoppers also reduced their spend, which further damaged the economy. 

There is hope, however, that the reopening of businesses, along with the relaxing of restrictions, will trigger an increase in spending. 

Our thoughts for 2021 

When consumers face uncertain times, it’s important to adapt your marketing strategy and differentiate yourself from the pack. Emphasise the reasons why your product or service will tackle a pain point or fill a significant need.  

Making sure you fully understand your target demographic will let you tailor your messaging specifically for them. If you sell a wide range of products, it’s worth keeping up with buying trends to see what products you should be promoting most.  

People have increasingly switched to working from home, therefore spending more money on products that make home a nicer place to spend time. For example, loungewear and comfortable clothing has seen a significant increase over the last period.  

Picking your targets for promotion will also help combat a phenomenon that retailers are referring to as ‘analysis paralysis’. This is when consumers abandon their shopping altogether when faced with a stressful purchasing decision, often brought on by too much choice. Reducing the amount of choice and concentrating on specific products for promotion will help consumers feel confident about their purchase.  

Discounts and sales have traditionally been a good way to attract customers who are comparing a few competing brands. More potential customers are going to be on a tight budget. Making them feel like they are getting a good deal is essential. Along with customer reward schemes, discounts are an excellent method of building trust between you and your customers.  

Since many brands previously dependent on footfall on the high street have been forced to reorientate their business strategy to focus on online sales, there are more brands vying for the attention of customers on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Because of an increasingly crowded marketplace, adapting the type of content you put out is integral to keeping the attention of your audience. 

If your customer base is skewed younger, you’ll have likely already seen the shift towards memetic content that younger people are more likely to engage with. It can be difficult to keep up with the very latest meme trends, evolving daily at breakneck pace, but the popular ones tend to stay around long enough to get a few relevant posts together. It’s unlikely the shift towards viral content is going away any time soon.   

In a recent study conducted by Edelman, 64% of consumers stated they would buy or boycott a brand based on its position on social and political issues. At a time when a large company can be boiled down to a single voice on twitter, what that voice chooses to say can be a significant element of a brand’s online presence.  

Showing values through charitable acts or sponsorships with real-world results is usually a safer bet than simple statements, as audiences are quick to cotton on to performative, fake, social activism. While we definitely can’t recommend it as a strategy, the social media firestorms created by Nike, Keurig and a few other brands, show how important it can be to have some thought out stances on important issues.  

The past year of multiple national lockdowns, the switch to work-from-home lifestyles and general consumer uncertainty have accelerated a change that was already taking place. People are purchasing more and more online and having an authentic social media presence can be integral to a brand’s survival.  

A comprehensive digital marketing strategy allows your organisation to build a relationship with customers, who are increasingly indicating a need for transparency and communication. In uncertain times, consumers more than ever want to be informed about the choices they make. Contact us today for an informal chat 01453 798555. 

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