An age of cautious consumption?

Impulse buying is expected to be on an unstoppable trajectory due to internet shopping and ease of one-click buying. However, after a recent study carried out for Which?, results showed that due to the accessibility of online reviews and the opportunity to check out independent advice when making a significant purchase, we’re actually seeing fewer impulse buys. Around two thirds of the population are researching more before a purchase than before the financial crisis.

Our Future of Britain research stressed the importance of consumers’ relationship with technology and how it aids their everyday life, with 64% of the 2,000 respondents agreeing that technology has enhanced their society. In terms of their relationship with technology and shopping, 55% agreed that technology has helped them to save money.

The future British consumer will most definitely be far more careful with their shopping habits, as derived from the Future of Britain research. Currently, 78% shop around for the best prices and over half will continue to do so even when their finances improve.

If consumers are dithering more before purchasing, preventing them from impulse buying, could this mean that brands needs to bring the research to the consumer? Premier Inn is a good example of a brand already doing this, since they integrated Trip Advisor reviews on to their website. Similarly, Sainsbury’s ‘Brand Match Initiative’ is another way of informing the consumer that “Yes, this is the cheapest place to shop” and if not, they’ll refund the difference at the convenience of the consumer, saving them from shopping at various competitor supermarkets to get the best deal.




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