Thanks to lockdown savings, almost one in five consumers (16%) plan to spend a little or much more than usual when Christmas shopping this year, according to market research by the leading global software provider for the retail and
hospitality sectors, Fourth. In addition, almost half (47%) plan to spend their usual amount of money on seasonal shopping, despite any additional lockdown savings, which suggests a good boost for retailers to end the year. The data also reveals that 68% of consumers expect to do a mix of online and in-store shopping, indicating that people haven’t been deterred from the high street after being forced online during the pandemic.
The research comes as part of Fourth’s latest whitepaper: Talent, convenience, and technology: The Retailer’s guide for 2022, which explores what consumers want from retail, what the current challenges facing the industry are, and what 2022 holds for the sector. The whitepaper is built on insights from two surveys: one of 2,021 UK consumers, and the second of 251 UK retail leaders.
Splurging differs by age group, but most consumers have concerns about Buy Now Pay Later
With multiple lockdowns helping many consumers save their pennies, Christmas 2021 is set to be a steady spending year. Younger generations are more likely to splash the cash with 27% of 25 to 34-year-olds planning to spend a little or much more than usual as a result of lockdown savings. While 45 to 54-year-olds are slightly more conservative with their money, 22% plan to spend a little or much less than usual. In contrast, both age groups were the most likely to struggle to save money (14%) as a result of lockdowns.
While many shoppers are likely to use Buy Now Pay Later services to aid their Christmas shopping, consumers have some reservations about it. Two-thirds (66%) of consumers feel Buy Now Pay Later services make it too easy to overspend. Almost eight in 10 shoppers (79%) also believe retailers should do more to help them understand alternative payment services like Buy Now Pay Later and their associated risks.
Retailer leaders are confident they can respond to evolving shopping habits and provide safe in-store experiences
While many retailers have struggled with talent shortages throughout the year, almost all (93%) of retail leaders are confident they have the talent required for the seasonal shopping period – whether on or offline. In an additional boost for in-store retailers, three quarters (75%) of shoppers feel retailers have made customer safety a priority this year.
This figure bodes well with consumers’ plans for 2022, with 67% of consumers still expecting to do a mix of online and in-store shopping in 2022. The number of people shopping only online will fall compared to 2021, from 15% to 11% in 2022. While this trend away from online-only going forward is reflected across all age groups, the drop in younger shoppers who tend to favour eCommerce is even more significant, with 16% of 16 to 24-year-olds expecting to shop only online in 2022, falling from 21% in 2021.
Responding to this latest data, Sebastien Sepierre, Managing Director – EMEA, Fourth, said, “Christmas is a key time for retailers, with the chance to bring in huge sales figures that can help compensate for a tough 18 months. While the pandemic isn’t over, it’s encouraging to see a balance struck between high street retailers and their eCommerce competition.
“This renewed footfall, while positive, puts extra pressure on retailers to bolster their safety measures and ensure they have the right staff in place to facilitate both on and offline shopping, emphasising the need for technology solutions such as workforce management software that can help them put their people at the forefront of planning for a stronger 2022.”