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Household spending, brands’ use of data, AI: 5 interesting stats to start your week

UK household spending estimated to have risen 10.8% in 2023

Household spending rose in 2022 and 2022, following a steep drop off during the pandemic.

In 2020, UK household spending declined by 0.7%, and then in 2021 it fell by a further 18.7%. This meant the average weekly expenditure of a UK household in 2021 was £482, versus £592 in 2019.

Over the past two years, household spending has returned to growth. The average weekly household spend increased by 9.8% to £529 in 2022. Last year, it is estimated to have risen a further 10.7%.

The average household weekly spend has still not recovered to 2019 levels, though, with it expected to reach an estimated £586 in 2023.

The figures come from analysis by tax and accounting specialists RIFT of Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.

The analysis suggests while inflation may have boosted prices, it’s consumer choice that is driving this increase in household spend rather than necessity.

The restaurant and hotel category saw the largest increase in spend last year, up 47.4% between 2022 and 2023.

Source: RIFT and ONS

Brands’ use of data puts consumers off

Around one in five (20%) UK consumers report having abandoned brands over the past 12 months after being required to share too much data.

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Just under a third (30%) of British consumers also say they are uncomfortable with brands still having access to their data after they’ve finished using them and would take action to rectify this.

Globally, around a third (33%) of consumers expect the right to request a copy of their personal information held by brands, and two in five (39%) expect the right to correct their personal data.

Outside of data, consumers are also being frustrated by poor digital experiences. The most common frustrations from consumers around brands’ digital experiences are pop-up ads (71%), passwords generally (64%), re-entering passwords multiple times (62%) and cookies (56%).

Source: Thales

Lack of data skills identified as major barrier to using AI

While the vast majority of UK marketers (92%) are eager to embrace AI, over half (52%) identify a lack of data skills as a major obstacle to doing this.

A data skills gap may be holding marketing teams back from fully embracing AI, but there are many tasks that marketers want to use it for.

Over half (53%) of marketers are leveraging, or are planning to leverage, AI for optimising strategy in real time, with a similar proportion saying they are or are planning to use it for generating creative ideas (50%).

Automating repetitive tasks (49%), enhancing data analysis (49%), personalising campaign messaging (46%), and utilising predictive analytics (43%) are other tasks that marketers plan to, or already utilising AI for.

Source: Braze

Consumer confidence falls in February

After reaching a two-year high at the start of the year, UK consumer confidence declined slightly in February, according to GfK’s monthly Consumer Confidence Barometer.

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Across four of the five measures, consumer confidence has declined, with only respondents’ perception of their personal financial situation over the next 12 months staying stable at o points. The overall index score suffered a two-point decline back to -21 points.

Consumer confidence in personal financial situations over the last 12 months declined by two points (-14) returning to its pre-January level.

Confidence in the general economic situation over the last 12 months also declined by two points (-43). Meanwhile, confidence in the general economic situation for the next 12 months, declined by three points to -24.

The major purchase index fell by five points to -25 points.

Source: GfK

UK shoppers set to spend £1.7bn on Mother’s Day spending

UK shoppers will spend £1.7bn buying gifts and cards for Mother’s Day, finds research from GlobalData.

This is up slightly, by 1.1%, from last year; however, this is largely driven by inflation. GlobalData suggests that spend will not go as far as it did in 2023, meaning gifts will be “less impressive” than last year.

The proportion of consumers participating in the event is actually down on 2023 levels, the research suggests. However, more consumers will take part in Mother’s Day than those that took part in Valentine’s Day.

Over two-fifths (41%) of those who have already, or intend to, purchase Mother’s Day gifts will spend £20 or less. Food and flowers are likely to be popular gifts this year, GlobalData predicts, advising retailers to focus on entry price points in these categories.

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Source: GlobalData

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