More than a third of Brits plan to increase spending as pandemic restrictions ease, according to a new study from ad verification firm, Integral Ad Science (IAS). The report – Pandemic Effects: Shifting Consumer Priorities – examines how UK consumer behaviour and spending habits will change as COVID-19 restrictions ease.
Key findings include:
New UK shopping & social habits emerge
The majority (92%) of UK consumers plan to continue at least one habit formed during lockdown periods after restrictions have been lifted. In fact, almost half (49%) of consumers will continue online shopping, and more than four in ten (45%) will continue using contactless payment methods.
Despite the majority (80%) of Brits now feeling more comfortable doing social activities, two in five (40%) remain concerned over confusing or conflicting guidelines for social gatherings and more than one in ten (15%) will not engage in social activities as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Consumers keen on spending on restaurants & travel
Consumers are keen on spending as establishments open up, with over a quarter (27%) reporting more savings since lockdown, and over a third (38%) anticipating that their spending will increase in the next year.
Specifically, consumers will likely spend towards experiences such as restaurants/dining (43%), travel (40%), and entertainment (35%). Retail purchases post-pandemic will be split equally between physical stores and online channels for half (51%) of consumers. Additionally, six in ten (60%) of shoppers confirmed that they will make a conscious effort to support small and local businesses.
Marketers poised to engage consumers
More than half (54%) of consumers believe that online advertising will play an important role in helping them find information on the products and services available to them post-pandemic. To source this information, almost half (45%) will use search engines, while more than a third (37%) will use social media sites and apps.
Looking ahead, one in two (51%) believe it is important that online advertisements appear in safe and reputable sites. In addition, almost half (49%) of consumers want ads to be relevant to the content that they are consuming, and a similar amount of consumers (47%) want this content to heavily feature a promotional or discount message.
Almost half (44%) of consumers believe that online advertisements should highlight a brand’s commitment to certain social issues and advocacy, while two in five (40%) want ads to recommend products and promotions based on what they have previously purchased.
Nick Morley, EMEA MD, IAS