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Shoppers Want More for Less in Holiday Shopping

Consumers shift to seeking bargains, rather than luxury or premium experiences, EY study finds.

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Shoppers Want More for Less in Holiday Shopping
Bargain hunting is expected to be big this holiday shopping season. PHOTOGRAPHY: SeventyFour/iStock.com

U.S. consumers are focused on finding the best deals rather than prioritizing experiences, brand loyalty or convenience, the 13th annal EY Future Consumer Index (FCI) has found. That global study involves surveying more than 22,000 consumers across 28 countries, including 1500 Americans.

“Cost-strained consumers want to know they are getting a deal, or they simply won’t prioritize a purchase,” said Kathy Gramling, EY Americas Consumer Industry Markets Leader. “Traditionally, brands and retailers have turned to big moments like Black Friday and Cyber Monday to drive holiday demand, but we’ve seen that many consumers are trying to manage their budgets and have been preparing and shopping sales all year round.”

The EY study also found that consumers are shifting away from spending on luxury or premium experiences, including travel, recreational activities, and beauty and wellness. Coming out of the pandemic, consumers had pent-up demand and spent on premium experiences.

That’s no longer the case. Consumers are spending less on convenience and experience and instead looking for more cost-effective alternatives. For example, 52 percent are cooking more at home and 45 percent are spending more time at home in general. Additionally, 48 percent of consumers are expecting to spend less on vacations over the next three to four months, and an equal percentage plan to spend less on recreational activities.

“These shopping habits support the need for a connected retail ecosystem and data-driven insights,” said Isaac Krakovsky, EY Americas Retail Leader. “There is a huge opportunity for retailers to leverage new technology to enhance their consumers’ shopping experience both in-store and online. Through AI, retailers can better anticipate customer needs, and orchestrate the right conversations to create personalized assortments, experiences and offers.”

Click here for more from the survey.

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