Shopper confidence rises in the run-up to Christmas

The November 2021 Shopper Confidence Index, from ShopperVista – which provides category, insight and commercial professionals with trusted shopper insights – has risen for the first time since April 2021, as shoppers prepare for Christmas.

With 61% of shoppers looking forward to getting back to a ‘traditional’ Christmas following the dampened 2020 festivities and 67% thinking that Christmas is a time to splash out on food and groceries, shopper confidence increased to -9 vs -11 in October.

November 2021 results

Shopper confidence increased throughout the month, reaching a high of -6 at the end of the month, with an overall average of -9 for the month.

However, despite this apparent Christmas cheer, shoppers are increasingly concerned about food price inflation. Expectations around price increases have reached an all-time high: 85% expect food and grocery prices to increase in the year ahead and 29% expect them to get much more expensive.

Index highlights

– Fewer shoppers were more focused on saving money in the run-up to Christmas: 21% vs 26% Oct 21

– Overall financial confidence improved; 31% expect to be worse off in the year ahead (-3% vs Oct’21), 21% expect to be better off (+1%). Financial confidence has increased the most among lower income shoppers.

– More higher income shoppers believe they will be worse off (28% vs 31% in October’21) than better off (22% vs 20%) in the year ahead.

– Fewer lower income shoppers believe they will be worse off in the year ahead compared to last month (38% vs 43% October’21).

– Shopper confidence increased across most demographic groups, particularly those aged 25+ and lower income households.

– Northern England and Scotland were the only regions that didn’t see an increase in shopper confidence.

Rhian Thomas, Head of Insight, ShopperVista, said: “Following the bleak picture the Shopper Confidence Index painted last month, it’s refreshing to see a slightly brighter outlook as we head into the festive period. Assuming that no more restrictions are put in place as a result of the Omicron variant, we expect confidence to be elevated throughout the month.

“However, it’s unfortunately not a longer-term story of Christmas cheer. Despite the decision by the Bank of England not to raise interest rates at the moment, the media has focused heavily on the rising cost of living. We expect shoppers to increase their focus on saving money at the start of 2022, to make up for any overspending at Christmas and prepare for the energy price cap which could see household energy prices jump by more than 40%.

“Shoppers remain highly sensitive to price rises and news of any shortages, which in turn impacts confidence. “Savvy shopping” will become increasingly prevalent again in the new year and value will be top of mind.”

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