Consumers spend less on luxuries and change their social values

Spending focus now is on value-for-money essentials and luxuries are out. Our collective trauma has also changed our social values.

consumers spend less on luxuries and change their social values 1024x602 - Consumers spend less on luxuries and change their social values

South African consumers are spending less on luxuries, focusing more on value-for-money purchases and also shopping with more social values and community awareness than in the past.

People have now gone into what the researchers call ‘full survival mode’, with almost one in two respondents saying there is no money for luxuries and income is being spent on essentials only.

Family health is the key priority

Forty percent of respondents said their main priority in Level Two lockdown was to ensure the health of themselves and their families.  

Where there is a little extra money to spend, a third of people said they would use it to buy health and wellness items for their loved ones.

These are among the findings of a survey published this week by nlighten, a customer experience consultancy, in conjunction with media consultant Vanessa Raphaely and behavioural specialist Justine Jackson-Fraser.  

Survey respondents mainly females

The survey respondents comprised mostly women (92%), given that they make the bulk of household purchasing decisions.

When asked what the main driver behind their spending was, 41% said that price is now their biggest driver of purchasing decisions, while 35% opted for convenience.

“Shoppers are tired of standing in long queues; it is time-consuming and just not safe anymore, so finding new and convenient ways to serve will become key for companies,” said Nathalie Schooling, CEO of nlighten.

e8508347 nathalie schooling - Consumers spend less on luxuries and change their social values
Nathalie Schooling. Photo credit: Supplied

A heightened sense of empathy

The research also found that there has been a heightened sense of empathy and a move toward putting money back into the pockets of the ‘little guy’.

Almost three-quarters (74%) of respondents said that, since the start of lockdown in March, they are more likely to support small businesses, local home industries and those who serve the greater community.

According to Justine Jackson-Fraser, events that create a major change in emotions – such as a global health pandemic – will always impact behaviour, which then feeds back into our belief and value system.

Value our time with loved ones

For example, 75% of respondents said they now had a greater sense of empathy and community, and 82% said they value time and connection with loved ones more now than before, while  63% said they value a slower, more present and sustainable lifestyle.

“It’s quite hard for people to admit that their values have changed. We tend to think of them as deeply engrained in our core, and I think this change has provided a large gap for companies to fill,” said Jackson-Fraser.

“Without a collective post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experience, I don’t think consumers would have been so quick to admit to changing beliefs and behaviour.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *