Uncertainty around managing rising living costs is driving almost two-thirds (60%) of all respondents to want to save more for the future, with 39% of all respondents have made it a goal already to save rather than spend. The biggest savers are in South Africa (56% of all country respondents), Indonesia (54%) and Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina (all at 51%).
Experiences rather than ”things” are driving spend
The survey shows that consumers are looking for experiences more than ever before, as they make up for lost time and look for escapism from the pressures of the post-COVID-19 world, with 45% saying they plan to live more at the moment.
Out of the five key broad spending priorities – planet first, affordability first, experience first, health first and society first – experience has seen the biggest increase, doubling in priority since 2020, and is now the third biggest priority when consumers decide on where to spend, while it was the smallest at the beginning the pandemic.
Experience is now the biggest priority segment in the US (24%), France (26%), India (31%), and Thailand (32%). It remains the smallest segment in Finland (13%), Australia (15%), and New Zealand (10%). Forty-two percent of all respondents are planning on spending more money on experiences in the next year. However, 39% are less inclined to be involved in experiences outside of their home, so the experience must come to them. Customers who are venturing out are demanding more from physical stores, with more than a third (36%) planning to only visit stores that offer a great experience.
Consumers guided by sustainability and values
When it comes to buying decisions, most respondents, for the second quarter in a row, are placing the planet first (26%), ahead of affordability (24%) and experience (20%), this is particularly evident in China and Brazil, where 32% of respondents in each country prioritize the planet in the spending decisions.
Consumers are choosing to make more sustainable purchases, doing what they can to preserve their environment, with 56% saying they will pay more attention to the environmental impact of their purchases and 52% committing to pay more attention to the social impact. Two fifths (42%) say they will only buy from brands that align with their own values – a view held by the same percentage of the Generation Z population and 48% of Millennials.
The latest edition of the EY Future Consumer Index is available at ey.com/futureconsumerindex9.