Consumers More Confident, Still Looking To Save


Consumer confidence hit a new high during the third quarter of 2014, good news for owners looking to expand with a business cash advance or other financing option.

Industry observers at IRI have contributed growing consumer sentiment in part to marketing efforts.

“Marketers have a lot to feel good about as we enter the 2014 holiday season,” IRI Thought Leadership Editor Susan Viamari said in a recent press release. “Despite the bumps along the road, consumer confidence is definitely on an upward trajectory and this is clearly evidenced in holiday spending plans.”

The organization’s Shopper Sentiment Index, which measures factors like price sensitivity, brand loyalty and changes in spending, reached 121.4 during the third quarter, up from 108.5 during the same quarter in 2013. Scores of more than 100 reflect a climate where consumers care less about prices and more about purchasing their favorite brands and maintaining their desired lifestyles.

Survey results from IRI also showed 20 percent of Americans feel their financial situation improved over the past year during the third quarter, up from 17 percent during the same time in the previous year. Meanwhile, 25 percent expected continued improvement over the coming months, up from 19 percent in Q3 2013.

This explains why one-quarter of U.S. consumers recently told Accenture they plan to spend more on holiday shopping this year when compared to the previous year.

Savings remain the way to shoppers’ hearts

While more Americans may be willing to spend increased amounts this holiday season, plenty of consumers are still shopping for the best deal. Coupons provided online represent one strategy business owners could put to work heading into the holiday shopping frenzy.

Thirty percent of survey respondents told IRI they plan to use more coupons from manufacturer websites, but 28 percent said they will rely more on coupons directly from retailers. Meanwhile, 27 percent said they’d make use of coupons sent via email, while 22 percent will utilize coupons found on social networking sites.

“Marketers are certainly in a position to unwrap a nice boost in sales this holiday season,” Viamari continued. “But, maximizing this opportunity will require marketers to communicate a clear and concise value proposition early and often throughout the shopper journey.”

Small business owners looking to capitalize on this trend should consider their options regarding coupons and other marketing efforts. A small business loan could provide owners with the funds they need to kick marketing strategies into high gear.

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