Shopping Amid Inflation Adds To Consumer Stress:  Survey 


The latest round of research conducted by Vericast found that 50 per cent of all consumers and 64 per cent of Millennials indicated that making spending decisions along with rising prices due to inflation are negatively impacting their mental health.

Over a quarter agree that inflation is also influencing their decision to seek appropriate care.

To assess consumer behaviour changes during inflationary times, Vericast, a marketing solutions company, recently conducted and found that trying to make money last is also weighing heavily on the minds of consumers. Especially stressful factors – such as dwindling confidence in ability to pay bills on time and purchase necessities like food (70 per cent expressed this sentiment) – are challenging consumers.

As a result, consumers are being more intentional with their spending to alleviate tension and exploring ways to navigate rising prices such as buying more private label brands, limiting spending in certain areas, and strategically allocating tax refunds. Many are also leveraging discounts on dining whenever possible.

With ongoing challenges from increased operational costs, talent shortages and supply chain bottlenecks, companies are facing pressure from many directions. To support both short- and long-term growth amid these hurdles, brands should prioritize staying top-of-mind with consumers in the moments that matter. Offering deals keeps brands in consideration but targeting those deals at the right audience interests – as well as aligning them with product availability – is more important than ever.

“Our survey results reveal opportunities for brands and marketers to better engage with consumers by helping them tackle financial challenges during inflationary times,” said Dave Cesaro, Executive Director Client Strategy at Vericast.

“As the dollar shrinks, consumers are getting smarter with money. Brands can build credibility and stand out among competitors by offering value in the form of discounts and deals, which can help consumers feel more in control of their mental, physical, and financial health given the fatigue of the past two years.”

Additional survey findings include:

Inflation prompts changes in shopping behaviours

The survey indicated a strong desire to be smart about money and limit spending. Seventy-two per cent of respondents report they are buying more store or private label brand products to save money.

Millennials (77 per cent) and Gen X (76 per cent) represent the greatest number of participants to describe this as their strategy.

Though they are changing brands, many are not changing stores. Sixty-four per cent say they have not changed grocery stores in the last six months.

Discounts are top-of-mind amid high prices

Results show that brands and marketers should offer discounts more than ever, as 88 per cent of consumers surveyed say that a coupon would motivate them to try a new brand or store.

While 31 per cent are limiting spending on non-essential items as their top way to save money, looking for more coupons or discounts (13 per cent) and shopping the sale section (12 per cent) were the next top ways to save.

Restaurants are especially at risk of losing customers

When asked how restaurant behaviours changed in the last six months, 61% of respondents said they dine out or order takeout less often.

Sixty-seven per cent of Gen X agreed, as well as 62 per cent of Millennials.

Only 27 per cent said they have not changed how often they dine out or order takeout in the last six months.

Rising gas prices are stealing consumer spend away from restaurants, too. According to recent data, both limited- and full-service restaurant dining are the top spending cutback areas as gas prices increase.