Bulking up: Brits find new ways to beat soaring prices

online shoppingDespite spending more on non-negotiables like mortgages, rent, energy and fuel, the majority of Brits are still finding new ways purchase the goods and experiences they want most, although some brands are inevitably paying the price.

So says a new study from commerce media company Criteo, which quizzed 1,000 UK consumers and found that nearly two-thirds (63%) are buying essential items such as detergent and tissues in bulk to get more value for their money. To find the very best offers, even more  (67%) report they are spending longer online.

Cost cutting measures are enabling many consumers to continue buying similar volumes of non-essentials. Among the top categories consumers report increasing or maintaining spend are health and beauty (66%), consumer electronics (57%) and apparel and accessories (56%).

Now more than ever shoppers want great products that are made to last. Product quality is the most important factor for shoppers (88%), ahead of free shipping (86%) and discounts/coupons (79%).

For 69% of consumers, energy bills have become a greater cost centre. They are also spending more on groceries (54%), fuel (49%) and their mortgage or rent (29%).

This means some sectors are feeling the squeeze more than others, especially hospitality and travel. However, while these purchases are under pressure, 45% of consumers say they are still managing to spend the same or more on dining out and 54% are committing the same or greater spend to travel.

Similarly when it comes to luxury goods, over 37% of low to mid income consumers report spending the same or more. This increases to 53% or more for high-income consumers.

To mitigate rising prices, other tactics include buying gifts for future holidays and birthdays (36%) way in advance and buying high value items such as appliances and furniture sooner (25%).

Looking ahead, consumers may also be more willing to compromise on certain aspects of the products they do still choose to buy. Only half of the respondents surveyed expressed eco-friendliness was important to them when buying from a brand or retailers and 62% selected brand values.

To drive purchases, brands and retailers should double down on reward systems, Criteo reckons, with over two-thirds (67%) of consumers expressing loyalty points will be integral to their decision of who to buy from over the next six months.

Criteo director of enterprise for Northern Europe Sam Benkel said: “While shopping habits are evolving and compromises are being made, it’s clear to see how determined consumers are to stick with the brands they love.

“It’s vital brands make the most of this continued loyalty and concentrate on how they can stay front of mind at physical and digital checkouts. This will require close collaboration between brands and retailers to ensure shoppers only see the most relevant products and promotions based on their specific needs.”

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