New research from global payments leader Elavon and Ipsos MORI highlights a range of different reasons for consumers’ visits to shops for holiday shopping this year, with almost half (47%) doing so to support their local economy.
During this challenging time for retailers, consumers cited clear benefits for supporting ‘bricks over clicks’:
- Over half of those surveyed cited (52%) the ease of making choices when able to see items in person
- 47% of people said supporting the local economy was a motivation for shopping in store
- Being able to better assess the quality of items was the third strongest driver for 45% of people
- (One in four) 25% felt it was tradition to go to the shops
- (One in five) 21% were keen on the social side of shopping or shopping with others.
While the high street can take some comfort from these findings, caution should also be applied as some people expect to reduce their spending in 2020 - more than a third (37%) of us are planning to spend less this festive season than last. Almost half of those surveyed (45%) plan to spend about the same, with 15% intending to increase spending this year.
The age group most likely to increase spending is the youngest, with almost a third (30%) of those aged 16-24 intend to spend more. As age increases, the percentage of individuals in each age bracket spending more decreases: 17% of those aged 25-34, 14% aged between 35-44 years, 11% of those aged between 45-54 years and only 8% of those aged 55-65 plan to spend more this Christmas.
Eric Horgan, Head of Product of Elavon Europe, said: “It’s to be expected the pandemic would have some impact on consumer confidence, and we can see that in the numbers as 37% say they will spend less, while 45% expect to spend the same as last year. Only a little over one in ten are planning to spend more.
“So, as has always been the case, retailers need to listen to what shoppers are saying they want. Whether online or in a face-to-face environment, that means offering demonstrable value for money as shoppers raise their expectations of the consumer experience. That could mean actively demonstrating your health and safety and local credentials in a face-to-face environment or supporting a smooth delivery and returns process if selling online. Consumers have more choice than ever before and can easily and actively seek out those who are best meeting their expectations,” he added.
The reasons for the drop in spending vary. Of those planning to spend less (37%), the top three reasons were: planning smaller celebrations (39%), feeling the need to save or be ‘safer’ with money this year (35%) and a decrease in income (34%).
The survey asked what would encourage in-store shopping and the top three responses were enforcing health and safety measures (57%), providing hand sanitiser (53%) and staying open for longer to make it more convenient for customers (52%).
Online shopping for the holidays continues to remain crucial. For retailers to capture eCommerce market share, consumers expressed a clear desire for efficient delivery and returns. Delivery and returns provision are clear motivations for online shoppers – accounting for the top four responses. Reliable delivery was overall top (53%) with second, third and fourth preferences dedicated to returns too: Just over half (51%) motivated by free returns packaging, followed by (48%) free returns labels and more than a third (37%) welcoming returns being collected from home.
About the research
.The research was conducted on i:omnibus, Ipsos MORI’s online Omnibus.
- Online interviews were carried out amongst adults aged 16-65 in Ireland.
- Our respondents base includes 1000 adults who completed the survey 9-20th November 2020.
- The sample obtained is representative of the population with quotas on: age, gender, region and working status.
- The data has been weighted to the known population profile by age, gender, region, working and status to be nationally representative and reflect the adult population of Ireland.