50% of Irish consumers say they would be happy to spend more on local products.

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50% of Irish consumers say they would be happy to spend more on local products.

Consumers intend to spend more on groceries and household items...

The rise of the socially-conscious shopper continues according to Deloitte’s latest State of the Consumer Tracker, as 50% of those surveyed reported that they would be happy to spend a little more money on products that are sourced locally (up 6% on the previous wave) and 40% agreed that they purchase more from brands that have responded well to the crisis (an increase of 3%).

There is a slight increase in people’s concern for their own physical wellbeing (up 1% on the previous wave of research to 53%) and concern for the health of family members also increased by 2% (to 65%). Interestingly, concerns over the prospect of job loss decreased by 2% to 36%, however concern over returning to the workplace was up 2% to 36%.

The survey also found that while anxiety levels decreased slightly in Ireland since the last wave, they have increased across Europe.

Deloitte’s State of the Consumer Tracker is a monthly survey which tracks Irish consumers’ attitudes towards personal wellbeing, financial concerns, travel and hospitality, transport and retail. The results are based on a survey of 1,000 consumers across 19 countries respectively (1,000 Irish consumers). The most recent data was gathered between 29 October and 4 November, immediately following the introduction of Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions nationwide.

Commenting on the latest results, Daniel Murray, Partner and Head of Consumer at Deloitte Ireland, said, “These latest findings show that Irish consumers are still concerned about a number of issues. This is not surprising – the country’s return to lockdown brought with it many uncertainties. Consumer confidence levels saw an uptick during the summer months, when most businesses were allowed to open and case numbers were comparatively low – now, conditions are not so positive, and so confidence is seeing another dip. This emphasises the sensitivity of consumer attitudes to external conditions.”

Shopping & spending intent
The survey recorded a significant decrease in Irish consumers’ confidence in engaging in person-to-person services, down 5% since the previous wave of research to 49%. There was also a large decrease in those reporting that they would feel safe going a restaurant, down 11% to 32%. Confidence in visiting shops was down 3% to 61% – perhaps unsurprising, as Covid-19 case numbers were seeing a spike and Level 5 restrictions had been newly introduced.

While there was no change in consumers’ willingness to shop online and pick up instore, increases were recorded in consumers’ intent to shop online and have goods delivered across various sectors, including for electronics (46%, up 12%), takeaways (33%, up 6%) and clothing (46%, up 15%).

There were increases in spending intention on utilities (up 7% since the previous wave), groceries (up 9%) and household goods (up 8%). Meanwhile, spending intention on more discretionary items saw a decrease, including takeaways (down 7%) and clothing and footwear (down 8%).

The findings of the latest wave of research suggest that the rise of the socially-conscious shopper continues. 50% reported that they would be happy to spend a little more money on products that are sourced locally, up 6% on the previous wave. 40% agreed that they purchase more from brands that have responded well to the crisis, an increase of 3%.

Travel, Hospitality & Tourism
The survey recorded a decrease of 9% in intent to spend on travel among Irish consumers. Those planning to stay in a hotel for leisure travel over the next three months decreased by 10%; and confidence in staying in a hotel was down by 3%. Confidence in air travel, meanwhile, saw a slight increase of 1%.

Those wishing to purchase their next vehicle online saw an increase of 3% since the previous wave of research. 60% intend to keep their current vehicle for longer than originally planned, an increase of 2%. Additionally, there was an increase in those intending to limit their use of public transport over the next three months (70%, up 5%) as well as those intending to avoid ride-hailing services (64%, up 5%).

”While the findings of this latest wave of research paint a picture of a concerned – and therefore, cautious – consumer base, there are still opportunities for businesses to engage with customers in meaningful ways. One conclusion we can draw with confidence is that digital adoption can no longer be seen as an added extra or something that is ‘nice to have’ – an online presence is now an essential component of any business. Even if restrictions are lifted, it is likely that the demand for delivery of goods will remain high and businesses should be prepared for increased online traffic and corresponding order processing and fulfilment. Those who fail to keep up are sacrificing a huge opportunity for customer engagement.”

“Additionally, the survey findings suggest that the socially-conscious shopper is no longer the niche market it once was. Consumers not only expect businesses to actively align with their values – in fact, they are prepared to spend more on brands which do so. Business leaders need to consider their societal impact and identify opportunities to improve in this area.”

Article Published: 18/11/2020