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Consumers increasingly conscious of where they spend their money — EY

The report analyzed consumer sentiment as the world looks to a future beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Unsplash)
The report analyzed consumer sentiment as the world looks to a future beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Unsplash)
AMMAN — A recent study by Ernst & Young (EY) found that 70 percent of consumers in the MENA region believe that companies have a responsibility to positively impact the world, according to an EY report. اضافة اعلان

The report analyzed consumer sentiment as the world looks to a future beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a statement sent from EY, their Future Consumer Index data suggests that a significant amount of consumers intend to change their lifestyles, with 65 percent of consumers in MENA believing that post-vaccine life will be better than before the pandemic. The report also found that 51 percent of consumers say that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated changes they had always wanted to make.

The index also indicates that there is a growing mindfulness from MENA consumers about the importance of sustainability and creating a positive impact on society. More than half, (57 percent), said they plan on prioritizing the environment and climate change in how they live and the products they buy. Another 22 percent said that sustainability will be their most important purchase criteria three years from now, according to the statement.

Around 63 percent of MENA consumers said they are more likely to buy from companies that ensure what they do has a positive impact on society. In addition, 48 percent will buy more from organizations that benefit society, even if their products or services are more expensive, according to EY.

“Consumers are willing to engage more with brands that direct their capabilities and resources to support an economic recovery in the communities they operate in,” Ahmed Reda, EY MENA consumer industry leader, said in the statement. “Affordability also remains a critical factor for most consumers, in addition to the overall brand experience. Brands that keep these factors in mind will be well placed for success among consumers in the coming years.” 

The findings also showed that MENA consumers are willing to embrace data sharing if it leads to better outcomes for them, with 77 percent prepared to share personal data for healthier product recommendations.  

Affordability also remains an important consideration for most consumers, particularly those who are actively taking steps to ensure that they live within their means, EY said. The index found that 67 percent of MENA consumers plan to be more aware and cautious of their spending in the longer-term, with 58 percent noting that price will be their most important purchase criteria three years from now. 

Safety concerns on the rise

Even as the roll-out of the vaccine picks up around the world, stability increases, and the impact of COVID-19 declines, the report found that the percentage of people who think they will live in fear of the COVID-19 pandemic for at least another year has risen from 19 to 27 percent. 

Consequently, around 49 percent of MENA consumers reported that they will be less inclined to get involved in experiences outside the home as a result of health and safety concerns.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has opened up a window for change. …The same is true of consumers’ everyday lifestyles, and as people around the world emerge from the pandemic, they plan to fundamentally change how they spend money and live their lives,” Ravi Kapoor, EY MENA consumer industry consulting leader, said in the statement.

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