By Retailist Team
New York, NY – In an era marked by content overload, the 5WPR 2024 Consumer Culture Report underscores the critical role of brand consistency as consumers navigate a dynamic shopping landscape that mirrors an evolving shopper mindset.
The report reveals an increase across all categories in the percentages of consumers who intend to splurge this year, with some categories seeing an almost 10% increase. In 2023, 43% of consumers reported splurging on health & wellness products, rising to over half (52%) this year. Similarly, last year, 36% of consumers reported splurging on clothing & fashion, which has increased to 42% in 2024.
However, the factors convincing them to spend, and the channels being used to drive purchase, are increasingly diverse and difficult to pinpoint. For marketers, this means that brand recognition across channels, and clear channel-specific value-add messaging, is stronger than any singular sales tactic.
In terms of factors influencing purchase decisions, for most shoppers (46%), what ultimately drove them to spend was word of mouth, widely defined as recommendations from IRL friends and/or family members (71%). However, for consumers under the age of 55, word of mouth also extends to user-generated content across social media channels with 67% of Gen Z shoppers choosing being informed by social media user generated content as their top definition for what they associate as word-of-mouth marketing. Friends and family, and online customer reviews and testimonials followed closely while celebrity endorsements wield the least influence across all ages, with fewer than half of respondents considering them for word-of-mouth referrals.
Consistent messaging on every channel is also key in optimizing the consumer shopping experience. In a shift from recent years and diverging from other generations, nearly 50% of Gen Z (16-24) now note a preference for browsing in-store. The survey results indicate a pendulum shift away from the convenience-forward online shopping experience of years past, and towards a hands-on personal experience with their favorite brands.
“Unclear messaging around brand and product value leads to the disparities we see between trends in appetite to spend and ultimately the spending that’s reported,” said 5WPR Co-CEO, Dara A. Busch. “Consumers want to invest in themselves, so it makes sense they are spending generously in categories like health and wellness. Though excitement to spend on travel and experiences is high, the further the value proposition of the spend on personal wellbeing, the less likely they end up feeling inclined to make that purchase. For brands to convert consumer spending desires to actual purchases, it all falls to how they message the value proposition of that trip or experience on personal well-being. This is a key area for travel and experience brands, and brands in other categories, to explore in their messaging this year and beyond.”
Health and wellness rank in the top three categories for splurging, while consumers also express a desire to spend more on travel and excursions, with 41% of survey respondents making it the top category for predicted spending this year. Without persuasive messaging across every channel, however, marketers within these categories could miss their moment to convert. Our report reveals that consumers tend to overestimate the amount they will spend in this category. In 2023, 33% of consumers estimated spending in these categories, specifically, while only 30% actually made a purchase for that year.
“What we’re hearing from consumers in this year’s report is that they are being served brand messaging in every channel and at every turn,” added Busch. “This, combined with the fact that the number one channel they’re relying on to purchase is word of mouth, followed by customer reviews and testimonials reinforces the need for crystal-clear brand positioning and storytelling across all channels – ensuring that as messaging is filtered across mediums and into the hands of consumers themselves, the value proposition remains clear to the end purchaser. Further, with Gen Z driving a return to stores, the same messaging and value proposition need to be reflected in the experience of brick-and-mortar shopping and the added value offered through that experience. It’s a channel that cannot be overlooked.”
Other key findings from the 2024 Consumer Culture Report includes:
- Younger consumers value the opinions of micro-influencers over those of macro influencers and celebrities.
- Consumers aged 15-44 are more likely to splurge than save when spending across their top categories.
- While some consumers still prefer to browse for items online, a growing portion of younger consumers say they prefer an in-store experience.
- Consumers prefer shopping in-store at department stores that stock multiple brands (49%) over shopping from singular brand retailers.
5WPR is a full-service PR agency in NYC known for cutting-edge programs that engage with businesses, issues, and ideas. Founded by Ronn Torossian 20 years ago, 5W has been named a top US and NYC PR Agency by leading industry publication O’Dwyer’s, as well as awarded Agency of the Year in the 2023 American Business Awards®, and continuously brings leading businesses a resourceful, bold, and results-driven approach to communication. The agency has more than 300 professionals serving clients in B2C (Beauty & Fashion, Consumer Brands, Entertainment, Food & Beverage, Health & Wellness, Travel & Hospitality, Technology, Nonprofit), B2B (Corporate Communications and Reputation Management), Public Affairs, Crisis Communications and Digital Marketing (Social Media, Influencer, Paid Media, SEO). In addition to its business accolades, 5W was named to Inc Magazine’s Best Workplaces 2022 list. For more information and to join our team visit 5W Careers.
SOURCE 5W Public Relations
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