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Consumers More Wary About Spending

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Saturday July 23, 2011 )

They say those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it and it looks like the GFC has taught some harsh lessons that aren’t being forgotten too soon – which will make online business a little more challenging.

According to a recent survey by Big Research, confidence in the current economic climate is such that nearly half of those surveyed said they are considering each purchase more carefully.

Close to half are sticking to budget and becoming more wary of pricing. Just 11.6% believe the current economy won’t affect their lifestyle.

So what this means in terms of ecommerce is:

a) More comparison shopping
b) Increased coupon usage and actively seeking out coupons
c) Less impulse buying
c) Consumers will scare off more easily

By “scare off”, I mean it’s likely people will find it easier to find reasons not to buy from you. That doesn’t necessarily just mean pricing factors, it could also be other issues, such as perceived quality of a product and credibility of the merchant selling it. People will be more risk averse, so reassuring your potential customers will become even more important.

Reassurance comes in all sorts of forms when it comes to ecommerce. Features like a detailed “about” page (which should contain solid info about your company, not just spin) and the use of third party security seals have been shown to help boost conversions.

Things don’t look like they will be much rosier towards the end of the year either. Nearly a third of consumers surveyed are already saying they’ll spend less on gifts this year and only 4% will spend more.

It could be a very tough holiday season and with it being the cream for many online retailers, the months ahead could see that cream being a little more low fat than usual with some of the revenue that would have been profit going toward expenses.

The BIGresearch Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey monitors over 8,000 consumers each month. To view more of July’s report, click here.


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