Consumers seek discounts, private label

29 October 2013
LONDON: Decreased consumer spending does not necessarily signal fewer purchases, according to a new report which also indicates that consumers in emerging markets are more enthusiastic about spending than those in developed ones. 

Euromonitor International's Global Consumer Trends Survey 2013 analysed the lifestyle traits of 16,300 online consumers in nine major developed and emerging markets, including Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US.

It found that most consumers were planning to keep spending at constant levels over the next year and a significant number also intended to decrease spending but were unwilling to forgo consumption. Instead, they were shopping at discount stores or purchasing private label brands.

Euromonitor further noted that most consumers actually expected to keep category-specific spending constant. Emerging market consumers, however, planned to increase spending.

Compared to consumers in developed markets, emerging market consumers were significantly more likely to increase spending on technology (29% compared to 9%) and travel (32% compared to 14%). A similar pattern was evident in the other categories of apparel, cinema and theatre, fast-food restaurants and full-service restaurants.

Overall, when considering these six categories of non-essential goods, fewer than one in five consumers had increased their spending over the past year and roughly one in three had decreased it.

When they did cut back, fast food was the category most likely to suffer (38%), while people were reluctant to give up on luxuries such as holidays.

On this point specifically, 13% of consumers who planned to decrease spending over the next 12 months also said they would spend more on travel and vacations.

In terms of their approach to shopping, the survey found that global online consumers liked bargains, but would in general prefer to own fewer high quality items than a lot of lower quality ones.

In addition, they liked to try new things and were not especially concerned about buying branded products, although they were willing to pay more for these.

Data sourced from Euromonitor International; additional content by Warc staff
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