Identity verification company SheerID has surveyed more than 3,500 consumers in the UK, Germany, and France to understand how shoppers feel about the state of the economy and how their purchasing behaviour has changed.

More than 80% of consumers in the UK, France, and Germany expect the current economic downturn to last more than 12 months.

In response to higher prices, higher interest rates, and their bleak outlook on the financial future, they are spending less (54%), eating out less (49%), purchasing fewer non-essential items (51%), and shopping with less expensive brands (44%).

What do shoppers want from retailers in this challenging period?

Over half of the survey respondents revealed that they are inspired to purchase from retailers who create an emotional connection with them while also providing price relief.

When asked what would motivate them to be loyal to a new brand, 63% indicated “an exclusive discount for my community” is the preferred option.

All consumers like discounts, but examples of communities that appreciate exclusive offers are students, healthcare workers, and teachers, all of whom would be motivated to try a new brand through a targeted offer.

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By GlobalData

This beat out getting a general discount (53%), better customer service (36%), access to buy-now-pay-later financing (24%), the opportunity to buy online and pickup in-store (26%) and even personalised offers based on interests collected from their website activity (19%).

Exclusive discounts also turn consumer communities into brand advocates at a high rate. More than 9 in 10 said they would share an exclusive offer with others who were eligible for it.

SheerID CEO Jake Weatherly commented: “There’s no question that the down economy has stoked consumer pessimism and chilled spending, but brands do have a clear path to engage shoppers through community-based discounts.”