The Split-Brain Budget Mindset: Why Consumers Remain Eager to Get the Best Value for Their Money
Consumers are still looking for ways to shop smart and save due to overall economic uncertainty. According to a recent survey with over 2,000 U.S. consumers, many respondents are showing what’s known as the “split-brain budget mindset” and are feeling empowered to shop creatively to maximize the spending power they have in the moment.
But it begs the questions: What's driving consumers to spend despite rising costs and how have they adjusted their shopping preferences and behavior in this new environment? Here are five findings advertisers should consider about consumer shopping behavior right now.
People Are Searching for and Finding the Best Offers Online
Around 73 percent of shoppers are spending more time online searching for the best offers and value for their purchases before clicking the buy button. This tendency to rely on savvier cost-saving measures continues the turn toward e-commerce. While buyers have returned to storefronts in droves, the better prices online are keeping shoppers on digital channels on a more consistent basis.
Shoppers Are Still Finding Ways to Buy What They Love
Mortgages, energy bills, gas and groceries are necessities in the lives of everyday shoppers and surprisingly, those essentials aren’t stopping them from buying the goods and experiences that they want most.
Seventy percent of consumers spend on apparel and accessories as well as health and beauty products, while 66 percent of shoppers continue to spend on consumer electronics. Sixty-four percent of consumers make it a priority to regularly eat a meal at a restaurant. Even 54 percent of low-to-mid-income consumers report spending the same or more on travel, eating out, and luxury goods.
A Forward-Thinking Mindset is Accelerating Some Purchases
Reliable spending across the board comes down to consumers not letting market fluctuations dictate how and where they spend. It’s about when they spend. Shoppers are buying high-value items like appliances and furniture to capitalize on current deals before prices go up. These savvy shoppers are also looking ahead and buying gifts for upcoming birthdays before potential price increases. Furthermore, they’re buying essential items in bulk to get more value for the total on their receipts.
Deals Shouldn’t Come at the Expense of Quality Products
Shoppers want products that are durable, reliable and will perform as expected over time. This is particularly important for high-ticket items such as electronics, appliances and furniture, where shoppers want to make a long-term investment. In fact, 90 percent of consumers say quality is a primary factor when making purchase decisions — above other details like free shipping or coupons.
Consumers Want More From Brands Than Just Discounts
People don’t just buy into a brand’s products; 73 percent buy into the values of the brand to reinforce the purchase itself. This shift in consumer behavior has led brands to focus on creating more sustainable and ethical products, as well as promoting their social responsibility efforts on top of loyalty programs.
The economy has shifted over the past year and will continue to change in 2023, making it crucial for marketers to allocate their budgets where it counts the most. While some consumers may remain more conservative in their spending than others, it’s clear that consumers will find ways to shop smarter while making room to buy the things they love. Understanding these consumers and the way they’re adjusting their shopping behaviors in this environment, while leaning into data-driven strategies, will allow marketers to engage with them at the right time and across the appropriate channels to deliver richer consumer experiences while achieving their own growth goals.
Rory Mitchell is the general manager, global growth at Criteo, the commerce media platform for the open internet.
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Rory Mitchell is the General Manager of Global Growth at Criteo. Under his leadership, he’s helping to shape Criteo into the performance growth platform for direct-to-consumer brands, growth marketers, and performance agencies, while continuing to solidify Criteo’s leading position in commerce media. He oversees a global team focused on driving acquisition and retention objectives to unlock new business for Criteo’s 22,000 clients.
Previously, Rory was Criteo’s Executive Managing Director of the Americas where he led revenue strategy and execution across the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Prior to joining Criteo, he spent 15 years in enterprise sales and client success roles including Chief Revenue Officer at Steelhouse, an advertising technology company. Rory is a California native and graduated from San Francisco State University.