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How to influence consumers despite inflation

Retailers have options to reach inflation-sensitive shoppers.

Consumers are cutting costs, but a new survey reveals two factors that still have a significant impact on their purchase decisions.

According to the Q2 2022 Consumer Trends Report from e-commerce selling platform Jungle Scout, 59% of surveyed consumers are buying less expensive brands to cut costs. But while inflation continues to drive consumer spending, the survey finds that social media and brand loyalty are also key factors in shopping behavior. 

Key insights from the report include: 

Social media and advertising significantly influence consumer purchases and their opinions of brands.

  • 35% of respondents have purchased a product after watching a social media brand's livestream.
  • 42% of respondents say being "followed" around the internet by ads is a helpful reminder, while 32% say they are "creeped out" by the tactic.
  • YouTube is the most trusted social media platform for finding and purchasing products, followed by Facebook and Instagram. 

Affordability affects brand loyalty. 

  • 48% of consumers are more likely to shop from a brand that has consistently lower prices.
  • Consumers' willingness to switch to a new brand if it is more affordable increased 12% quarter-over-quarter.

Millennials are less likely to sacrifice their shopping habits to cut costs compared to baby boomers. 

  • Surveyed baby boomers are nearly twice as likely as surveyed millennials to go without some products to cut costs. 
  • Only 35% of millennials would buy a less expensive brand to save money.
  • Baby boomers are more likely to shop in-store to cut down on shipping costs. 

Two of three surveyed U.S. consumers shop on Amazon, and most are loyal Prime members. 

  • 47% of surveyed consumers are likely to shop on Prime Day this year. 
  • Low product pricing is the top reason people choose Amazon.
  • Nearly 90% of surveyed consumers will likely keep their Prime membership for another year.
  • 45% of those surveyed said the new cost of Prime membership doesn't bother them.

"Despite concerns about inflation, consumers are still investing in the retail economy and are turning to e-commerce for the best deals. What's changing is the products consumers buy and the factors that influence their purchase decisions," says Mike Scheschuk, chief marketing officer of Jungle Scout. "Brands need to reassess their strategy as social media and affordability reshape the retail landscape. By optimizing their online presence, brands can engage with customers, better understand their needs, and secure loyalty in these uncertain economic times."

Survey: Inflation changing how consumers shop
According to a recent study measuring inflation and post-pandemic routines from Numerator, 95% of surveyed U.S. consumers report that inflation has impacted their finances. The impact of inflation is four times greater for the 32% of respondents from households that are identified as “struggling” with extremely tight finances and heavy inflation impact.

In addition, 95% of respondents say they are taking steps to combat rising prices. Popular responses to price inflation include stocking up on sale items (51%) and searching for coupons and promotions (50%).

Jungle Scout conducted an anonymous survey between May 6 and May 10, 2022, among 1,000 U.S. consumers about their buying preferences and behaviors. Respondents represented 48 U.S. states, all genders, and ages 18 to 75 and up, as well as varying employment types and income levels.

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