Where will consumers spend most in the downturn?

WM Circle Logo

By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on October 30, 2008

A new study from Acxiom analyses consumer shopping behaviour and attitudes in today's difficult economic times.

The study, the Retail Consumer Dynamics Study, is an industry-specific analysis of consumer shopping behaviour and attitudes in today's difficult economic times.

It reveals variations in how each consumer segment looks at the economy today and how that perception affects whether and how they will defer spending; the type of stores they will visit; and generally how they go about their daily shopping.

"Even though all consumers are facing huge economic uncertainty, their responses differ - but not along conventional demographic lines," says Jie Cheng, vice president of analytics and consumer insights at Acxiom. Cheng adds that rather than thinking in simple terms of who is spending more, versus who is spending less, the study reveals how consumers are making their decisions on when and where to shop and what to purchase.

The study identifies nine consumer behavioural segments that provide retailers with new, actionable insights to improve their ability to connect with key consumer targets.

The segments are arranged into three distinct groups reflecting consumers' potential future behaviour: those likely to loosen up on spending sooner, those not likely to change from current behaviour, and those tightening spending and retreating further.

Among the study's key findings:

  • Savvy Spenders (mostly married, affluent, both young and mature, living in outer suburbs and rural communities) are more likely to spend sooner than other segments, given some improved circumstances.
  • Of the Savvy Spenders, 37% are shopping at sales more often.
  • Savvy Spenders favour department stores for their combination of category offerings and brand/price options.
  • Those likely to shop more online are the Tight with Purpose segment, who are married with children, upper middle income with professional or management careers.
  • The It's My Life segment - mostly affluent young consumers maintaining a child-free city lifestyle - are not letting current economic conditions change their shopping behaviour. They shop in 'category killer' stores to benefit from the blend of brand selection and price.

To download a complete copy of the study, click here (free registration required).

More Info: