Almost 50% of people will cut clothes, leisure spending if incomes fall due to pandemic

Almost half of Irish people would cut spending on clothes or leisure should their incomes fall as a result of the pandemic, a new survey shows.

With around 100,000 people likely to be left without work as a result of Covid-19 restrictions and Government pandemic supports set to end, many families face sharp falls in their earnings in coming months.

A survey by accountants KPMG, published on Monday, shows that when asked where they would cut spending should their incomes fall, 46 per cent of Irish people said clothing and 44 per cent said leisure activities.

The study, Me, My Life, My Wallet, part of a paper on the spending habits of 18,000 people across the world, shows that almost seven in 10 Irish people shop more online than before the pandemic.

Irish people are protective of their personal information. The survey shows that 92 per cent of them want companies to protect their data without having to be asked, while 93 per cent would never want it sold to others.

KPMG says that while shoppers want companies to use their data to make shopping easier, businesses must strike the right balance.

“Our research shows 40 per cent of consumers consider it ‘creepy’ if companies know what they want before they know it themselves,” the report says.

Globally, KPMG found that 31 per cent of people feel this way about companies anticipating their needs.

Data protection

The study also found more than half of the 18,000 surveyed globally ranked data protection as their top priority when shopping online.

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Irish shoppers value customer service, with 93 per cent of them saying that a company’s ability to solve problems is important to them.

Almost all want the company to have a good website, but expect to be able to get support when they need it.

Commenting on the findings, Niall Savage, KPMG Ireland’s retail and manufacturing lead, said as disruption caused by the crisis continues “it will be more important than ever for Irish businesses to stay close to their customers’ changing expectations and be prepared to evolve accordingly”.

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