Status: 09.05.2022 09:29 am
The purchasing behavior of Germans has changed significantly within a short period of time due to the massive price increases for many products. Since the outbreak of the Ukraine war, more attention has been paid to the cent.
Shopping at discounters more often, avoiding expensive branded items and paying more attention to special offers: the Ukraine war and the rapidly rising prices for many products have changed the shopping behavior of many people in Germany within a few weeks. This is shown by current surveys and data from market researchers.
“Households react very quickly when the general conditions change significantly,” said retail expert Robert Kecskes from the market research company GfK of the dpa news agency. “That was the case with the pandemic, and it’s the same now with the Ukraine war and the high inflation rate.” People are unsettled, many feel that their freely disposable income is shrinking, and that is having a significant impact on their shopping behavior.
“Consumption on the back burner”
In a recent study, the Cologne retail research institute ECC speaks of “consumer behavior on the back burner”. According to ECC, almost two thirds of people (64 percent) want to save more when shopping in the near future. Larger purchases would be postponed. And, of course, savings are also made when shopping for groceries.
Here the incision is even particularly noticeable. Because the food trade was one of the biggest winners of the Corona crisis. During the pandemic with its lockdowns, Germans had spent a considerable part of the money they could not get rid of in restaurants, bars or on vacation trips in the food trade. People treated themselves to something and more often resorted to more expensive products.
It’s over. Now we look at the cent again. And the figures from market researchers and surveys by trade researchers show which strategies consumers are relying on. “People are creative and find solutions to maintain their standards without having to spend a lot more money,” says Kecskes.
More special offers, renunciation of branded goods
Savings number one: Compare more prices and buy more special offers. According to the ECC survey, almost two-thirds (61 percent) of consumers now pay more attention to prices than they used to and use special offers more often. “People are also becoming more careful again that they don’t buy too much so that nothing has to be thrown away,” observes Kecskes.
Savings measure number two: doing without expensive branded products. According to the ECC survey, almost half of consumers (48 percent) are currently doing without expensive brands more often – and instead prefer to use the cheaper own brands of retail chains. “We’ve been observing this switch more and more frequently in recent months,” confirms GfK expert Kecskes. “Manufacturers of high-quality branded goods will have to struggle in the food trade over the next few months. In view of the tight budgets, low and medium-priced brands will gain in importance,” says Martin Fassnacht of the WHU business school in Düsseldorf. This applies in particular to retailers’ own brands if they offer customers added value – such as organic or regional origin.
Discounters benefit – larger purchases are postponed
Saving measure number three: shopping at the discount store. “First and foremost, the supermarkets benefited from the Corona crisis because people wanted to do something good for themselves during the pandemic. This pampering phase is now over. Now it’s time for the discounters again,” Fassnacht is convinced. In fact, according to figures from GfK in March, numerous consumers turned their backs on the more expensive shops such as specialist shops and supermarkets and preferred to do their shopping at Aldi, Lidl and Co. The market share of the discounters is growing again after a long time, according to the fiberglass
Austerity measure number four: renunciation of consumption. According to the ECC survey, furniture purchases in particular were postponed as a result of the Ukraine war, but a third of those surveyed were also hesitant to buy new fashion and electronics because of the war. “Many people will only buy the essentials. People are hoarding their money,” says Fassnacht. Industry insider Kecskes is convinced that many consumers will not ignore the lack of consumption in the food trade either. In view of the increased costs, less meat is then eaten or a spoon less coffee powder is put in the filter. The wine merchants are already complaining about a noticeable drop in sales.
“The current developments are a shock for many consumers. People had just hoped that everything would go back to normal after the pandemic – and then the war came and with it the feeling of their own powerlessness again,” says Kecskes. “That increases the fears and we see that clearly in the buying behavior.”
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