Validated quality trumps Brand Equity

CATEGORY: Customer

New research from Bazaarvoice’s Influenster community reveals the impact of inflation on consumer shopping habits ahead of Christmas. As purse strings tighten amid rising inflation, the research reveals that British consumers are most willing to splash the cash on quality skincare and cosmetics.

The squeeze caused by the cost-of-living crisis means that in the run-up to Christmas over two-thirds of UK consumers say their shopping habits have been affected by inflation (68%), with almost all Brits actively price-matching to get the best deals (98%). Despite many retailers celebrating their biggest Black Friday sales ever, a third of consumers felt under pressure to make the most of the sales events in order to get the best deals (34%).

Paying for quality

In a further effort to cut costs, half of Brits have also been choosing to purchase more private labelled products (48%) in recent months, with greater emphasis on the quality of a product versus the brand name. 

Almost 4 in 5 consumers agree that the quality of a product is most likely to convince them to pay more for a purchase (79%), far ahead of the product’s brand name (31%) or even whether it’s cruelty-free or eco-friendly (23%). This is particularly important for the self-care categories, with skincare (77%), cosmetics (71%) and haircare (66%) the top three categories British consumers are willing to pay more for, followed by homeware (46%) and apparel (33%).

The gift of loyalty 

Whilst brand name alone is not enough to convince the majority of consumers to pay more for a product, almost a third of consumers would consider themselves to be brand loyal (29%), with over half willing to pay more for a product that has become their “go-to” choice following a good previous experience (58%). 

We’re in the final stretch before Christmas now and many consumers will be in panic mode. They will be comparing the quality of items and looking for easy ways to justify the amount of money being spent on gifts. Moreover, selecting an item of quality that is appreciated by the recipient has the potential to create a future loyal customer.

User-generated content is a fantastic way for consumers to validate their decisions prior to purchase; over three quarters of consumers find UGC the most influential reference point when shopping. What’s more, the availability of great first-hand reviews and previous customer photos will not only convince them to buy, but would influence almost half of consumers to pay more for that product.

– Ed Hill, SVP EMEA, Bazaarvoice

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