April 27, 2022

6 ways to win shoppers who are adapting to rising prices

Higher pricing has brought new consumer behaviors, such as buying fewer items and switching to lower-priced options. According to a recent study by Yahoo, 70% say that price hikes have already led to changes in their buying behavior and spending habits.

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Let’s talk about the “I” word. Yes, inflation. Consumers are feeling the pinch. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices rose 7% in 2021.1 Not surprisingly, negative consumer sentiment is growing, too. In fact, 72% expect prices to continue rising over the next 12 months.2 While we can’t wave a magic wand that improves the economic landscape, although we wish we could, we do have solutions that can help you connect with shoppers.

Significant shifts in consumer behavior

Higher pricing has brought new consumer behaviors, such as buying fewer items and switching to lower-priced options. According to a recent study by Yahoo, 70% say that price hikes have already led to changes in their buying behavior and spending habits.3

Consumers are also swapping going out to restaurants for cooking at home, with 64% reporting that they’re spending less on dining out.4 A little over half have switched to shopping at cheaper stores or purchasing cheaper brands and are postponing buying big-ticket items.5 And 52% are looking to save wherever they can, keeping an eye out for coupons and deals.6

How to add value beyond pricing

As consumer behavior adjusts to inflation, smart retailers and manufacturers are adjusting as well.

While a brand’s initial instinct may be to lower prices, there are plenty of ways to add value for consumers. Brands can experiment with ad messaging and frequency targeting strategies to accommodate shifts in purchase behavior, hold on to share of voice, and maximize ROI. Read on for our top tips for advertisers that help you reach — and resonate with — audiences in today’s economy.

  1. Get the content right
    These are challenging and unpredictable times. Consumers are looking for content that reflects their lifestyle and emotional state. Currently, 60% of shoppers seek content that helps reduce stress and anxiety.7 Advertisers can build trust and create better connections with their audiences by empathizing with consumer needs and focusing on human-centric content with a clear purpose.
  2. Stay informative and helpful
    Ads influence purchase decisions, and the more informative your ads are, the better. During times of crisis, 64% of shoppers specifically want brands to communicate new products, offerings and discounts.8 With 79% of consumers reported having taken one or more actions while shopping that were potentially influenced by ads.9 By communicating effectively, brands can help lead customers toward a confident purchase.
  3. Strike the right tone and sentiment
    Shoppers’ plans for a return to normal have been upended by inflation, politics, and ongoing public health concerns. Even early in the pandemic, consumers reported fatigue from constant exposure to messaging around COVID-19. Empathizing with today’s consumers means you must always be tapped into shopper needs and emotions and constantly fine-tune your messaging for how shoppers are feeling now.
  4. Offer deals and promotions
    This year, consumers report they’re looking for convenient shopping options and more budget-friendly items. Your brand should align offerings and messages with consumer incentives, aiming for the right price point on small pack sizes. This past quarter, 44% of consumers have used coupons, deals and promotions while shopping,10 and 24% report having joined a loyalty program to earn discounts.11
  5. Embrace interactive efforts
    Thanks to innovative technologies, new shopping experiences have emerged and are thriving. Consumers can inspect items from every angle with 3D catalogs, virtually try on a new outfit with AR and buy directly from their email inboxes and video ads.

    Plus, new technologies are helping shoppers feel safe. It’s no surprise that consumers contemplating returning to brick-and-mortar stores have safety and hygiene top of mind. As a result, technologies enhancing contactless experiences are becoming sought after. For example, nearly 20% of consumers scanned QR codes to receive a coupon.12
  6. Tailor your offerings
    Personalized content makes a big difference. Half of consumers report that if they receive personalized content, they’ll make a purchase and feel loyal to the brand.13 Additionally, we have seen a significant 92% higher conversion rate for personalized ads over non-personalized native image ads.14

    For advertisers considering personalized, interactive content, Yahoo offers Dynamic Product Ads (DPA). DPA creates intuitive shopping experiences while featuring the products that consumers actually want. They dynamically pull creative from a brand’s product feed and display the content to users based on their unique online shopping behavior.

How Yahoo can help

We always start with the consumer. Our experiences are designed to meet shoppers’ daily needs, inspiring them across the purchase path by weaving premium content with immersive formats powered by unparalleled technology and data. Our end-to-end commerce experiences reach consumers in key moments when they’re open to messaging, positioning your brand to thrive.

We enable you to easily buy immersive, personalized and innovative brand experiences in the #1-ranked DSP by Adweek. With new partnerships such as Shopify for small businesses, branded storefronts with our MikMak integration, and innovative ad solutions across our trusted content sites, we can help you capture attention, build trust, and meet consumers wherever they are. No matter what’s happening with the economy.

Connect with us for ideas and strategies that help you drive performance.

1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16 February 2022. "Consumer prices up 7.5 percent over year ended January 2022." Bls.gov.

2-6, 9-12 Yahoo, Omnibus Study, February 2022.

7 Yahoo, Coronavirus Consumer Study, March 2020.

8 Yahoo, Immersive 5G Consumer Topline Summary, 2020.

13 IAB Brand Disruption Study 2020.

14  Yahoo, Internal data, 2019.

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