Rising living costs take toll on spending

Rising living costs take toll on spending

Survey shows Thais want to save more

Cautious spending, flexible payment and authentic automation are among the key consumer trends to look out for in Thailand this year, according to London-based market research firm Euromonitor International.

The firm defines those who spend cautiously as "budgeteers".

"Global shocks, inflationary pressures and concerns about an impending global recession continue to impact the cost of living," Sahiba Puri, senior consultant at Euromonitor, told the Bangkok Post.

"During these uncertain times, budgeteers are expected to pay closer attention to savings and spending."

She said Euromonitor's consumer lifestyles survey showed 53% of the Thai respondents indicated that they planned to save more money.

This in line with a global survey in 2022 that showed 75% of consumers did not plan to increase their overall spending as the cost of living crisis is undermining purchasing power.

"Budgeteers are expected to become more conscious about how much and where they spend. This could mean trading down to more affordable alternates, opting to buy from channels that offer the best deals and discounts," said Ms Puri.

According to Ms Puri, brands that are able to provide innovative solutions for budgeteers stand to gain their trust in difficult times.

Offering loyalty programmes with exclusive discounts can also help to keep customers loyal, she said.

According to Euromonitor, flexible payment is expected to be another trend to watch.

A flexible payment option like Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) incentivises shoppers to take the plunge on higher priced items, the firm said.

BNPL can also help budgeteers to be more comfortable with their spending habits, whilst spending reasonably on indulgences for instant gratification.

Euromonitor said authentic automation is another important trend in the digital age, where consumers seek to have more authentic connections in how they engage with technology.

The firm said that purposeful application of authentic automation can help create a seamless shopping experience, giving consumers the ability to choose, and humanising tech where possible.

"Companies should expect quite divergent behaviour as consumers cope with ongoing challenges while getting back in their stride," said Alison Angus, head of innovation practice at Euromonitor.

Ten key trends were highlighted in Euromonitor's Global Consumer Trends 2023 report, including authentic automation, budgeteers, and flexible payment.

Other trends include the screen time spend that will be more selective among customers as they want an efficient and curated digital experience.

"Eco-economic" will also be underscored as consumption behaviour becomes less about acquisition and more about reduction, which positively impacts the planet.

Gaming has become an entertainment leader and has transcended the generational divide, Euromonitor said.

It also highlighted "Revived routines" in which customers are eager to rediscover the world despite uncertainties ahead, with 39% of consumers saying more of their everyday activities will be in person over the next five years.

According to the firm, consumers will refuse to remain silent on gender inequality amid growing calls for gender equality.

Another key trend is that people are putting personal needs above all else, with 53% of consumers saying they had a strict boundary between work or school and their personal life.

The final trend indicates that members of Gen Z are now standing up for their beliefs and assuming a more prominent stance.

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