In an effort to assist retailers to reasonably predict, potentially influence and respond to holiday spend, Deloitte posed a number of questions directly to South African consumers, to understand their holiday spending plans. The results of the survey are revealed in the Year-End Holiday Survey 2014: Savvy Spenders on the rise report
- Consumer perceptions about South Africa’s economic outlook – Contrary to the last three years, fewer young South Africans (between the ages of 18 and 34) on average have a positive view of current economic conditions. Consumers are debt strapped and this will drive spend on necessities (such as groceries) rather than non – essential items.
- Christmas gifts in the stocking this year – High on the gifts to have this season, and likely to be representative of the consumer perceptions about the economy, is cold hard cash, with 39% of respondents expecting it as a gift. However, chocolates are still a firm favourite coming in at second place with 38%.
- Festive season purchasing behaviour & sentiment trends – Consumers are a lot more cautious about how they’ll be spending their money this festive season, with 72% of survey respondents saying they will decrease impulse spending, and 49% saying they will be using loyalty points a lot more in 2014. Supporting this is consumers’ expectation of retailers to invest in providing lower prices as this becomes more of a priority (rated highest in ranking compared to other expectations of retailers).
- Changes in where and how South Africans will do their holiday shopping this year – Omni channel shopping is gaining popularity, and an increasing number of consumers are buying products online compared to previous years, with 51% reported to have used their smartphone to purchase a product.
- Use of social media in gathering and sharing product information – Consumers are becoming much more empowered when making purchasing decisions. During the 2014 festive season, 71% of consumers will use social media to search for and compare products. This is really indicative of the tech savvy nature of our consumers of the future (16 – 24 year olds) and retailers need to prepare for and cater to this target market.
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