Christmas priorities, consumer confidence, generative AI: 5 interesting stats to start your week

We arm you with all the numbers you need to tackle the week ahead.

Value for money will be top priority for Christmas gift shoppers

Half of UK shoppers (51%) say value for money will be their top priority when searching for Christmas presents this festive season.

The continuing impact of the cost of living crisis is evident, with almost half (48%) of consumers saying they plan to scale-down celebrations this year. Around one in five (19%) say Christmas will be more stressful than usual. This is around the same proportion (20%) who say Christmas 2023 will be more stressful, suggesting the long-lasting impact of the cost of living crisis.

This upcoming festive season it seems it will be the thought that counts for shoppers, as almost two-thirds (64%) of consumers say a thoughtful gift is preferred over an expensive one. Almost half of consumers (48%) say they spend a lot of time exploring their options before making festive gift purchases.

The research suggests ads seen could play a significant role in this decision-making process. Around one-third (34%) of consumers say they are influenced by ads during the festive season.

Source: Ebay Ads

Most marketers believe generative AI will help them do better work

Nearly nine out of 10 (88%) marketing and customer experience leaders believe generative AI will help them do better work.

The top benefits that marketers believe generative AI will deliver include helping them to create more (87%) and better (89%) content, better personalised customer experiences (89%), and help to identify new customer journeys (87%).

As part of the research, Adobe also surveyed 2,000 consumers. It finds consumers aged 18 to 41 (Gen Z and millennials) have the most positive attitudes towards generative AI, with 52% of this age group saying the technology is already having a positive impact on their lives.

Of this younger age group, more than one in three (35%) say they want generative AI to make it easier for them to find the things they want more quickly and 14% say they want companies to use the technology to predict their next move as a consumer.

A significant proportion (15%) of younger consumers believe the most important consideration around generative AI for companies is that they have effective guardrails in place to make sure it is used responsibly. Among Gen X and older demographics, around one-quarter of consumers believe ensuring effective guardrails are in place is the most important consideration for companies introducing generative AI.

Source: Adobe

Consumer confidence recovers modestly in August

Consumer confidence recovered slightly in August, but levels remain very low.

Less than one in five consumers (16%) think the UK economy will get better over the next 12 months, while 55% believe it will get worse, giving a net confidence of -39. This is an eight-point increase compared to last month, but remains well below 2022 and 2021 levels.

There are persistently high levels of financial difficulty among people in the UK with 7.8% of households missing a housing, bill, loan or credit card payment in the past month.

This is a decrease versus July’s level of 8.6% but remains notably high. In August 2021, just 4.5% of households reported having missed a payment in the last month. In August 2022, the cost of living crisis was already in full swing; however, the proportion missing payments was also considerably lower than this year, at 6.8%.

Council tax was the most common (50%) missed bill among respondents who had missed a payment in the last month. Water (46%) and energy bills (42%) were also commonly missed bills.

Just over half (56%) of all households report making some sort of adjustment to cover their essential spending. These adjustments could include cutting back on essentials, dipping into savings, selling possessions or borrowing. This is slightly down from the level seen in July (59%), but is still much higher than the 40% seen in August 2021.

Source: Which?

TV drops out of marketers’ preferred ad channels

TV has dropped out of marketers’ list of preferred ad channels for the first time, despite still being the most trusted medium, according to research from Kantar.

TV has plummeted from third on the list of preferred media channels for marketers in 2022, to 12th, according to the Media Reactions 2023 report. The survey of 900 global senior marketers and 16,000 consumers finds TV remains the most trusted ad channel, however, only a net 6% of marketers say they will upwardly revise TV spend in 2024.

The importance of TV sponsorship also declined among marketers, falling from 12th last year to 20.

Online video retains its title as marketers’ preferred media channel, a position it has held for four years running. A net balance of 74% of marketers indicate they will increase media spend on online video in 2024. Online video does not fall in consumers’ top five preferred media channels.

Both marketers and consumers rank sponsored events highly. It is the top advertising channel for consumers, and second for marketers. Digital out-of-home also ranks well among both marketers (third preference) and consumers (fifth).

Cinema advertising is the second most popular channel for consumers, despite not making the ranking for marketers.

Source: Kantar

Vast majority of businesses report misalignment between marketing and sales teams

The vast majority (87%) of businesses say they experience alignment issues between sales, marketing and customer success teams.

The reported misalignment comes despite the almost universal (97%) belief among revenue leaders that better alignment between teams can bring tangible benefits, such as increased revenue and customer satisfaction.

The research also finds companies are struggling to meet revenue goals, with only 7% of revenue leaders confident they will hit targets this year.

Source: Hubspot