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Consumer spending seen to spike for holidays

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star
Consumer spending seen to spike for holidays
Based on the survey of more than 1,000 holiday shoppers aged 18 and above, 55 percent plan to spend less time in stores or visit them less frequently while 48 percent will shop more online and depend on delivery or pickup.
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MANILA, Philippines — Consumers will remain eager to spend in the Christmas season – although differently – as Filipinos adjust their shopping habits to economic challenges spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook Philippines said, citing results of its recent survey.

“Holiday would look different due to COVID but it might just be the most highly anticipated Christmas yet. There’s an exciting optimism because it’s been so hard for many,” Facebook Philippines country director John Rubio said at a virtual briefing yesterday.

With the massive shift to online and e-commerce, Rubio noted that in-store traffic would look even more different as COVID-19 has caused people to rethink their shopping habits.

Based on the survey of more than 1,000 holiday shoppers aged 18 and above, 55 percent plan to spend less time in stores or visit them less frequently while 48 percent will shop more online and depend on delivery or pickup.

Furthermore, 87 percent of holiday shoppers will be on the lookout for sales and bargains during the holidays.

“People will be looking out for deals. Am I saving money or getting the same price but with better value or better quality?” Rubio said.

“Christmas is also that time of the year when people explore new product categories with millennials the most likely to say they do,” he said.

Rubio explained that from an individual behavior, smaller purchases would be done but gross merchandise value would be significantly higher.

“On an average, revenue per customer may be lower because of their value buying behavior, they may not spend as much as last year but on the aggregate, so many more people are online than before,” he said.

Among the factors that businesses should consider in reaching more consumers this holiday season are global mobile and e-commerce growth, the rise of more mega sales, self-gifting after a difficult time, receptiveness to new products and services, and affordability, authenticity and action.

As shoppers rely even more on digital transactions for their yearend needs, they are expected to look to businesses that go further to delight and surprise including live shopping, gamification, and social buying.

With online shopping also come mega sales including the famous and expected 9.9s, 10.10s, 11.11s, and 12.12s where products online will be sold with big discounts and other promos.

The Facebook survey showed that 99 percent of consumers agreed that the pandemic would impact on their finances and price sensitivities would be heightened in the coming Christmas season.

Nearly 90 percent of consumers have delayed certain purchases due to the coronavirus, including technology purchases and other luxury items.

Consumers are now spending a great deal on food and grocery products at 65 percent followed by household essentials at 46 percent and personal care at 45 percent.

Rubio said consumers would be looking particularly at prices, discount offers, price match, product choices and product availability when buying in time for the holidays.

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