Consumers want brands to focus on fair pricing amid inflation
More than half (57%) of consumers want brands to support them through the cost of living crisis by keeping prices “fair”, according to a survey of 2,000 adults.
Fair prices are desired more acutely by women than men, at 62% compared to 52%. Meanwhile, the number of consumers aged over 55 who want brands to keep prices fair is more than double the number of 18- to 34-year-olds (72% versus 36%).
Consumers are also keen for brands to freeze prices on value range products or services (36%), offer more value for money promotions (33%), reward existing customers’ loyalty (30%) and increase the number of promotions they offer (28%).
At the other end of the scale, consumers are least in favour of brands trying to support them through high inflation rates by trying to entertain them or make them laugh or smile (5%). This is five times more unwanted among the older generations aged 55 (2%) than by those aged 18 to 34 (10%).
Meanwhile just 8% want brands to engage directly with them to develop new solutions and only 10% want brands to offer affordable customer finance.
Three-quarters of Brits want brands to do more to help Ukraine
British consumers expect brands to take an active stance on the war in Ukraine, with three-quarters (74%) of British people wanting brands to do more to help.
There is also a strong expectation among British consumers that brands will speak out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. More than three-quarters (77%) of those surveyed think brands should voice their opposition to the invasion.
The expectation that brands should not remain silent during the Ukraine war is particularly strong among British consumers compared to those in other countries. In comparison, just over half (56%) of French consumers think brands should speak out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Most Britons express a willingness to stop buying from brands who do not take action on this issue. More than half (52%) of British consumers say they would boycott brands that do nothing, and 64% say they would boycott Russian brands.
The expectations of brands on this issue are higher than government, the research finds. Indeed, 70% of people think the UK government should do more to support Ukraine, whereas 74% think brands should do more.
Ecommerce brands spend 59% of media budget on short-term sales
Brands that rank ecommerce as highly important and are mature in their approach are spending 59% of their media budgets on driving short-term sales, according to new research from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and Dentsu International.
This is compared to just 37% spent on short-term sales by those brands that regard ecommerce as ‘important’ or ‘growing in importance’, and are therefore less advanced in their journey.
The research is based on responses from 41 multinational brands across 13 sectors, representing a total global ad expenditure of more than $50bn (£39.9bn). Some 46% of respondents were in media roles, while 48% were in sales or ecommerce roles.
Seven in 10 (71%) of the firms say ecommerce is either “critical” (51%) or “very important” (20%) right now, with that figure rising to 93% when considering the next two years.
Yet, just one in five respondents are aware of the impact on profitability from their ecommerce activity, and few organisations use profit as a measure of success. Only 34% of respondents identify KPIs that relate to the contribution ecommerce makes to the bottom line as one of their top three metrics.
However, the metrics start to shift from activity and volume to commercial contribution as organisations become more mature in this area.
The research also finds that for many organisations, internal structure is posing a barrier to seizing the opportunity in ecommerce. Most respondents say ecommerce is managed in specific siloed teams, normally within the sales function (37%) and occasionally within the marketing team (16%). Some 28% of respondents add that traditional sales channels are managed independently from a central ecommerce function, with each seeking to maximise its own sales and margins.
Source: WFA/Dentsu International
Number of Brits struggling to make ends meet more than doubles
The proportion of British adults who say they are struggling or unable to make ends meet has more than doubled from this time last year.
More than one in five (22%) of Britons say they are struggling or unable to make ends meet, a 12-point increase from 2021 (10%).
Some 5% of those surveyed by YouGov say they often have to go without essentials like food and heating. A further 17% say they can “only just” afford their costs and often struggle to make ends meet.
Most of those surveyed were pessimistic about their economic fortunes looking forward. Three in five (60%) expect to be worse off in the next year, while half saying their financial situation has deteriorated in the last month.
While one in five people in the UK are struggling or unable to make ends meet, this figure drops to 13% for people over 65. Just under half of this age group say they are either very (6%) or relatively (42%) comfortable financially.
Younger consumers more concerned about brands’ stances on social issues
Consumers under the age of 45 are more concerned about brands’ stances on social issue than older generations, finds a survey of 2,000 UK adults by Sitecore.
It is important to the vast majority (96%) of Gen Z consumers that retailers offer more minority-owned products and services, whereas only 62% of Baby Boomers think this is important.
More than nine in 10 Gen Z respondents say they want brands to take a moral stance on issues in society, compared to two-thirds of Baby Boomers.
The survey also finds younger consumers are much more likely to boycott brands due to association with a figure they dislike. Some 15% of Gen Z respondents have stopped shopping with a brand because of an affiliation with a politician, political party or influencer that they did not like, compared to only 3% of Baby Boomers
Although brands that do not have progressive stances on social issues may lose out on custom from younger consumers, there is significant opportunity for those that do. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of Gen Z would pay more for products and services if they knew that the staff were being well paid, and 76% would pay more for a more environmentally-friendly product.
Overall, 70% of consumers want to see brands connect with them on a personal level.