Consumers optimistic, but 31% say they will spend less on apparel, finds study

Online research, data collection and panel specialist, Lightspeed, has found that consumers are mostly optimistic about their finances and expect their spending habits to remain unchanged over the next month.

However, when looking at consumers who expect their spending habits to change, they expect their discretionary spend to decrease.

For instance, when asked about their expected spend on clothing and footwear, 31% of consumers expect to spend less on these items over the next month.

The clothing and footwear category had the highest proportion of consumers who expect to spend less on these items, followed by alcohol and eating out, takeaway and food delivery, with proportions of 26% and 21% respectively.

Consumers aged 55 and over are the most likely to believe that they would spend less on clothing and footwear.

Andy Hutton, general manager, Lightspeed said: “Purchasing habits are still healthy but consumers are looking to cut back on the non-necessities.

“While consumers intend on spending less over the next four weeks, if unemployment rates remain steady and with sales like Click Frenzy and Black Friday scheduled to happen in the next few months, I think we’ll see discretionary spend intentions pick up. Based on the trends from last year, my prediction is that similar patterns will continue this year, with consumers being more inclined to spend on household goods and electronics.”

And while 26% of consumers overall expect to spend less on alcohol, 13% of New South Wales residents expect to spend more on alcohol over the next month. This was the highest proportion among the states and territories.

These expectations tie in with the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index, which was down from 108.8 to 104.1 between July and August 2021.

As the index is over 100, it indicates that overall consumer sentiment is still positive, with optimists outweighing pessimists. However, this is the lowest the Index has been in 2021, suggesting that consumer confidence has taken a hit due to the current coronavirus outbreaks.

In addition, the report found that 82% of consumers expect their spend on streaming services to remain the same over the next month.

The study surveyed 2,000 permission-based respondents from Lightspeed’s panel and were interviewed between 27 – 30 July 2021.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.