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“...optimism regarding the UK’s economic recovery is at the highest recorded level during the COVID-19 crisis.”


are optimistic that the economy will rebound within 2 to 3 months and grow just as strong as or stronger than before COVID-19 (compared with 17 per cent in November 2020). Consumer spending is expected to be highest in the travel (55 per cent) and dining (53 per cent) categories once restrictions are lifted or the spread of COVID-19 halts. Beauty and personal care was the next highest category at 38 per cent.


Additional Key Findings of the UK Consumer Sentiment Research Include:


Signs of spend recovery Despite decreased household income and increased savings, optimism has also led to an increase in spending. Forty-seven per cent of consumers intend to splurge in 2021 to reward themselves. Younger consumers, especially Gen Z, indicate a higher intent to spend or treat themselves.


Lag of positive impact of vaccination Net spend intent fell to -6 percentage points for vaccinated consumers compared with those not yet vaccinated. This drop is likely due to the over-representation of baby boomers in the vaccinated group. The majority of vaccinated consumers expect routines to return to normal by the end of 2021, and say finances are already back to normal.


36


Digital shift is here to stay Up to 92 per cent intend to continue purchasing online post COVID-19 (from those who currently do). The strongest intent was in the online purchasing of vitamins, OTC medicines, published content, and apparel.


Ongoing “investments” in homebody economy Consumers have made structural changes to their homes which will create lasting change. Thirty per cent of consumers have invested in new uses of their living space at home through remodelling or setting up a specific work-from- home space. Thirty-two per cent undertook house moves – including moving into a larger or smaller home, in with family or to an entirely different geography. Nine per cent reported getting a new pet at home.


Brand loyalty continues to be disrupted Seventy-two per cent of consumers have changed stores, brands, or the way they shop. And many of these behaviours appear set to stay with 84 per cent of those who tried a new brand stating their intent to remain with them. Millennial consumers are at the forefront of this revolution, with 85 pe rcent stating they have tried new a new shopping behaviour during the pandemic.


Direct Commerce | homeofdirectcommerce.com


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