Consumers open to trying different brands 

Are consumers around the globe changing their shopping habits? According to research commissioned by Bazaarvoice, 73% of consumers claim to have changed their spending habits due to the current economy. However, 54% of consumers stated they have not changed their spending habits when it comes to essential products. 

When asked how they are reducing their spending, 70% of consumers stated they are “open to trying a different brand for products they regularly buy.”  

“As consumers around the world continue to rely on fellow shoppers for advice, and social media as their first source for product discoveries, purchases and even brand loyalty, it is high time for product and brand practitioners to reassess our content and channel strategies to heighten shopper engagement and decisions,” said Zarina Lam Stanford, Bazaarvoice, in a press release.

The research was conducted in September 2023 by Savanta among over 7,000 consumers and 465 brands in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Australia and Canada. 

Small business owners more optimistic 

Seventy-two percent of small business owners report that they feel more optimistic now about the financial prospects of their company than they did at the beginning of the year, according to a study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Melio. 

The survey was conducted to better understand how small business owners feel about inflation and the overall impact of the economic climate. Of those surveyed, 62% have had to “make tough decisions about their business” in 2023, including tapping into savings accounts and loans, adapting prices and reducing production of goods and services. 

Data is from a random double-opt-in survey of 1,000 small business owners and was commissioned between September 6-13, 2023. Learn more. 

Holiday gifts in 2023 

U.S. consumers intend to spend an average of $654 on holiday gifts, up 6.7% from 2022, with nearly 6 in 10 consumers expecting to pay more for food and gifts. However, according to The Conference Board Holiday Spending Survey, consumers under 45 years of age stated they are planning to spend less on gifts this year compared to last. 

“Consumers still seem to want to engage in some holiday cheer, as reflected in a rebound in gift spending after last year’s slump,” said Dana M. Peterson, The Conference Board, in a press release. “The uptick in intended gift-giving is despite consumers’ expectation of higher costs for such items.” 

When looking at what consumers intend to purchase, the study found that consumers are most likely to purchase gift cards and least likely to give home decor, furniture, appliances, etc. 

Learn more.  

Insights into consumers’ financial standing 

How is the global economy impacting consumer savings? According to a study from PYMNTS Intelligence, although average aggregate savings have not seen significant change since 2022 in the U.S., when factoring in inflation, the middle-income segment has seen their “readily available savings” drop by 18% in the last year. The middle-income segment is made up of individuals with annual earnings between $50,000 and $100,000. When looking at paycheck-to-paycheck consumers, 34% of those struggling to pay bills stated that they have spent more than what they earned in the last six months. 

The survey also found that 20% of consumers cited job loss or income reduction as a reason for a decrease in savings. 

The survey was conducted in September 2023 and included 3,648 U.S. consumers. Learn more (registration required).  

Restaurant execs react to inflation 

According to an annual survey from Toast, a digital tech platform for restaurants, 42% of restaurant executives surveyed reported that they raised menu prices in the past 12 months in reaction to inflation. When asked, “Which of the following are most difficult to manage?” 16% of respondents selected inflation, 15% selected guest throughput and hiring employees and 14% selected marketing and guest foot traffic. (According to the report: “Respondents were asked to rank up to five choices. Percentages reflect the top three choices.”) 

Despite the challenges of inflation and the general economy, 29% of survey respondents said they hope to open locations in the next 12 months. When asked about their goals for their restaurants over the next year, 34% of respondents said improving profitability was at the highest importance. 

The research was conducted between May and June 2022 by Toast and included 847 “restaurant decision makers” who owned fewer than 15 locations. Learn more.