Wealthy Consumers, Part 1: Shopping Behavior
In this election year, with candidates competing to look as empathetic as possible regarding the plight of the stressed poor and middle class, households earning in excess of $100,000 per year may not get much press. But according to a new SymphonyIRI Group report that analyzes the findings of a full year of MarketPulse™ survey data, CPG brands would do well to pay attention to changes in the shopping habits of wealthy consumers brought on by the extended recession.
Common wisdom says wealthier consumers should be able to weather down economies better — and that’s of course true — but while their economic baseline is higher, the hit of the recession may have been just as painful in its way, according to SymphonyIRI.
Over three-quarters of consumers from households earning more than $100,000 believe their financial situation will remain the same or deteriorate in the coming year. As a result, many of them, like their lower-income peers, are embracing lower cost, at-home replacements to eating out and indulging in luxury services such as spa treatments. This behavior is significant enough to spell opportunity for marketers across a number of CPG segments, including grocery, personal care, beauty care, hair care and over-the-counter medications.
For example, 37 percent of wealthy consumers, according to the report, cook from scratch more often, sacrificing some convenience items and carry-out fare in an effort to save money. While this segment is trading down in some areas, many will splurge, and they put great value on performance, taste and ingredient quality.
Despite their more secure financial state, it’s intriguing that wealthier shoppers say they will be more likely than the average shopper to pre-plan in the coming year, perhaps indicating a stricter spending approach. A slightly smaller but still noteworthy share of wealthier shoppers, 43 percent, choose stores because of lower prices, versus 52 percent of the general population.
In their planning, wealthier consumers tend to leverage online tools more than lower-income shoppers, pointing to a consistent and intimate relationship with technology, understandable given wealthier shoppers’ greater means and access to digital devices.
There’s much more in the SymphonyIRI Point of View Report…
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