Consumer spending is about to get a lift as shops, car dealerships and some leisure activities prepare to reopen.
That’s according to a new report from Radiocentre, the industry body for commercial radio.
The report, Bounce-back & Beyond, explores how radio impacts decision-making across different groups of listeners, and what audiences are most keen to spend on.
Activities that have been most impacted by the lockdown, such as eating out at restaurants or socialising in bars or pubs, and travelling both within in the UK and abroad, top the list of things respondents are looking forward to spending money on again.
But when asked whether they will be spending more or less than before lockdown, people’s priorities change significantly.
More than half of respondents (53%) are looking forward to spending money on going to restaurants.
But when asked how much they would be spending compared to pre-lockdown, the predicted net increase in spending on restaurants (4%) was much lower than on domestic travel (31%) and DIY & gardening (19%), suggesting a more pragmatic outlook with most spenders.
Similarly, longer-term spending intentions are less extravagant, with fewer people intending to spend more across the board.
Sectors that buck this overall pattern suggest a trend towards more practical, home-centred lives reflected in spending intentions relating to DIY & gardening, groceries, and domestic travel.
Research agency DRG spoke to more than 1,000 nationally representative commercial radio listeners.
The analysis focused on three groups within this: the newly WFH, key workers, and newly at home (but not working).
Social distance spending
Those identified as newly working from home are more likely to increase spend on social distanced purchases; and spend less for social activities, potentially as a result of becoming used to their environs.
Large increases in spending are predicted in furniture (50%) and technology (36%) for this group. This could be due to the expectation that working from home will become the norm.
However, key workers who have been out on the frontlines are deemed more psychologically immune to concerns around social mixing. They are due to increase their spend in that area in the short term; with 25% expecting to spend more money on outdoor entertainment.
Radio plays an important role in purchase decisions, particularly among the Newly Working From Home group.
Radiocentre’s previous research, Staying Connected During the COVID-19 Crisis, showed that 38% of commercial radio listeners were tuning in for an extra hour and 45 minutes each day during lockdown, with the uplift driven largely by those newly WFH.
In this new study, the WFH group were also found to be more receptive to, and influenced by, radio advertising.
Some 34% of respondents agreed they often search for more information on products because they heard them advertised on radio; however, this figure rose to 44% for the newly WFH.
Ideas from radio
Similarly, 39% of respondents who said radio advertising gives them spending ideas were in the newly WFH group. This was compared to 29% in total.
And the percentage of those agreeing that they had bought things in the past because they heard them advertised on the radio rose from 28% for the full group to 35% for the newly WFH.
“With many companies currently exploring how – and whether – to return to the office as lockdown eases, those of us working home may continue to stay where we are”, Mark Barber, Radiocentre Planning Director, said.
“Radio provides a great opportunity for brands to have their message heard by this huge, captive and receptive audience.”
Radiocentre is providing a full PowerPoint presentation of the new research via its website, to make it easy for people to add relevant facts to their own decks.
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