2020 has been a turbulent year, to say the least, and a new consumer mindset has emerged as a result. As winter closes in, both the health crisis and economic downturn are continuing to put unprecedented strain on lives and livelihoods. People are prioritising the safety of themselves and their families above all else. Read on to understand how consumers thinking and feeling.
In this post from ‘The changing behaviour series,’ we’ll look at the data from Q3 of the Blis consumer confidence pulse to identify consumer sentiment in the UK and US in order to help you understand how your consumers are thinking and feeling and drive growth through informed strategies.
People’s perceptions of their national economy remain in flux
While consumers in the UK were edging towards a positive outlook at the end of Q2, the following months saw a sharp decline, coinciding with the additional spikes and associated lockdowns experienced across the country.
US respondents on the other hand switched in the opposite direction with more consumers switching their neutral opinions towards a more optimistic outlook on the economy. It appears the U.S. government’s commitment to reopening the economy has successfully stimulated public confidence.
Uncertainty about the future is continuing cautious optimism about personal finances
Despite the vast differences in opinions on national economies, for the most part, consumers are remaining relatively positive about their household financial situations. Within the UK confidence in personal finances has remained robust, perhaps bolstered by the Government’s furlough scheme, which is undergoing changes towards cessation. Consumers in the US are also indicating positively, although there has been a marked increase in pessimism in the last 6 weeks.
Financial prudence has been consistent throughout the pandemic and saving and repaying debt is the most likely destination for a spare £1,000. And yet, there are opportunities for brands, with more UK consumers saying they intend to spend spare cash on retail, purchasing a new car or by taking a holiday.
In addition, the US saw a real shift and surge in investments alongside a drop in saving and repaying debt. As the crisis has likely gone on much longer than the majority of consumers expected some may be looking to bolster household finances. Understanding the shifts in intent within markets will help with planning global and regional brand strategies.
Home improvement stays consistent post lockdown
Interestingly, home improvement has remained mostly consistent for all markets throughout the pandemic. With working from home on the cards for many UK office workers for the foreseeable future, this pattern is likely to continue as people try to reduce contact with those outside their social bubbles.
Following months of hardship for many and the end of 2020 looming, more consumers are indicating that they would up donations to good causes too. This indication of consumers supporting causes they care about will help inform corporate social responsibility activations. Many consumers are staying loyal to brands that they have perceived to be helping throughout the crisis.
To dig in deeper to the data, check out the trackers for the UK, US, UAE, Australia and Singapore
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