It has never been more difficult, nor more important to stay one step ahead of evolving consumer habits. Today, economies in Europe are under acute pressure from rising interest rates and prices, the war in Ukraine on its borders and protracted COVID-19 lockdowns in China, which have slowed down production. By the end of the year the IMF expects much of Europe to be in a recession and unfortunately this is going to usher-in increasing monetary concerns for many consumers.
Almost two-thirds of European consumers (64%) are very pessimistic about the rising cost of living, with 60% feeling the same about the economic outlook. As a direct consequence, consumers are changing their buying behavior. 60% of consumers plan to make less impulsive purchases this year, with 50% extending the research phase, 49% waiting for sales and 43% relying on loyalty benefits when purchasing from their favorite brands.
It’s factors like these that are why we have commissioned our fourth consecutive annual study, surveying over 7,000 consumers in Europe to find out the trends and attitudes in personalization, privacy, messaging, advertising, brand loyalty and the rising cost of living.
The Europe Consumer Trends Index 2023 is here to furnish marketers with the data and analysis to plan and forecast for the year ahead with strategies rooted in relationship marketing — understanding every consumer as an individual and connecting with them on the right channel, with the right message, at the right time.
When it comes to driving sales, email is one of the preferred channels of consumers in Europe for receiving offers, content, incentives and rewards from brands. Almost half of surveyed consumers (48%) have made a purchase directly as a result of an email they have received in the last 12 months – outperforming banner ads and SMS by 100%. European consumers are a digitally mature bunch, and half (50%) have purchased from social media advertising and 47% from organic social media posts, pointing to the fact that marketers need a strategy that leverages all channels. However, as brands own their database, not only is email an incredibly effective channel, it is comfortably the most cost-effective, too.
100% — When it comes to driving sales, email outperforms banner ads and SMS by 100%
Despite the somber economic outlook, well over half of consumers in Europe (58%) will pay more to purchase from their favored brands, with 72% of consumers stating they buy frequently from the same company but are not loyal to that brand. Rather than a negative, this represents a huge slice of a brands’ addressable market that can be won over if it applies the right messaging strategy, utilizing a value exchange and strong loyalty offering.
The heart of loyalty is not merely the cheapest price point, but a brand that fosters community, recognizes the customer as an individual, and delivers personalized recommendations that reflect this.
64% – Almost two-thirds of consumers think the loyalty program of their favorite brand is important or critically important
The numbers in this article are merely a taster of what you can expect to find in The Europe Consumer Trends Index 2023. Download the full report to get all the data and insights you need to deliver relationship marketing strategies that actually work.