The Cost of Living and Consumer Trends
15.09.22 by Louise Byrnes
Recently we have seen prices steadily increase due to supply-chain issues that are still echoing long after the pandemic. In addition to this, recent political events have caused further economic disruption, and it seems as though they have no sign of fading soon.
It’s true – the cost of living crisis is affecting bank balances globally, with rising inflation eating into household incomes and affecting spending habits. But with a largely business-to-customer based model, how can we adjust to new habits and maintain a relevant service? In this article, Caterina Joelle Neumann from Delivery Hero’s Global Audience Insight team shines a light on the burgeoning trends that are shaping this new landscape.
Since the pandemic, customers have continued to support local, homegrown businesses – often opting for locally produced products. Often these items come with a slightly higher price tag in comparison to their mass produced neighbours, but customers seem keen to support smaller businesses, especially through difficult financial times. Now more than ever, there is a focus on sourcing groceries and other items in a more responsible and considered way.
Another trend that can be traced back to the pandemic, is consumers increasingly striving for real life sensory experiences and adventures. It seems as though we were deprived of physical interactions for so long, consumers are still yearning for real life encounters and events with others.
Customer loyalty is no longer a guarantee – especially among the aggressive price comparers and dupe hunters. There has been a steep rise in long-term customers switching brands in search of a better deal in order to save money wherever possible, with Vietnam and UAE based consumers the most passionate when it comes to finding the best deal. But what do all these new behaviours mean for our industry and how can we adapt to accommodate everyone’s needs?
“To adjust to inflation, consumers are critically comparing prices, changing providers, and going on the hunt for duplicate items” says Caterina Joelle Neumann of the Global Audience Insights team.
Tapping into Social Media
Dupe sharing is on the increase, with TikTok users increasingly sharing tips on how to create your own, or purchase lookalike items for a fraction of the original price. From favourite dishes, to fashion items and gadgets – of course this behaviour is designed to undercut profits, but it is important for businesses to understand the mindset of their customers and adapt to their interests and needs.
We can tap into this in many ways- from working with TikTok creators who focus on our products, to simply showing comparison prices with our Dmarts. We can suggest meal-kits for customers to create their favourite takeaways from scratch – so it is all about highlighting these tips.
Just like in physical stores, we can highlight those reduced soon-to-expire items further, especially produce that is nearing the end of its shelf life, or not meeting aesthetic norms. Those consumers who strive to find the best price around can feel as though they have secured an excellent deal, whilst experiencing the best our brand has to offer. Similarly, we can spotlight where items come from and create designated sections for groceries deriving from a specific locale or from independent producers.
Consumers are continuously looking for ways to reduce their waste at home by making the most of the forgotten produce at the bottom of their refrigerators. Social media channels are awash with ‘no spend’ challenges that dare audiences to go as long as they can without buying items, which are accompanied by recipes that focus on the typical items that can be found at the back of the cupboard and can be creatively reimagined into a delicious meal.
Bringing People Together
It might still feel like a novelty for some to spend time with groups of friends post pandemic, but gatherings are on the rise and with sporting events returning to television screens it provides us with the opportunity to bring audiences together and make the most of a shared experience, whilst keeping costs low.
Viewers might not have the budget to pay high prices for event tickets, but we can help create fun experiences from home with tailored sections where customers can browse specially curated match day snack menus, with a focus on multi-pack and family size items – designed to bring people together. Similarly recipe packs designed to be created together for specific occasions, holidays and celebrations can be introduced for this sense of ‘togetherness’.