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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : April 18, 2013

Report: Shoppers cutting back as economy improves

The economy may be stronger in 2013 than it was in 2008, but don't tell consumers that. New data out from Deloitte indicates that shoppers are holding on to the frugal attitudes of 2008, even though the economic worries have eased.

by Kristina Knight

"One of the most notable year-over-year trends in the study is how embedded frugality has become due to the recession," said Pat Conroy, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and consumer products sector leader. "Prudent consumers and improving perceptions about store brands are squeezing national brands' position. The gap between the few 'must have' brands on shoppers' lists and others on the shelf may be widening, making it more important for brands to differentiate through innovation, quality and performance. Consumer product companies may also consolidate low and mid-level performers and shift investment to the category leaders."

According to the data:

• 92% of consumers say they're 'more resourceful' with spending now
• 94% say they 'remain cautious' about spending and will keep budgets low
• 88% report they've found store brands to be 'as good as' name brand items

One interesting finding is that consumers are finding new ways to save money, in addition to clipping coupons or choosing store brands to save pennies. One of those savings options is using mobile to shop for household goods. The survey found that about 10% are now purchasing groceries/home goods items online and opting for home delivery. Some will also pick up in-store but shop online to save time.

"Consumer product companies can use mobile and online channels to strengthen the functional and experiential brand attributes that translate into conversion and loyalty," said Conroy. "They should consider aligning their digital efforts with consumers' location and context to reach shoppers online and on their phones, blending into their list-making, meal planning, product and price-checking, family activities and health and beauty routines. They may also market channel-specific product offerings and use these platforms to make product suggestions based on target consumers' prior shopping behaviors."

Tags: Deloitte LLC, ecommerce trends, mobile commerce, shopping trends

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