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While quality may be key to loyalty, consumers also are very focused on prices when making retail purchase decisions, according to a survey of 1,000 adults from Ask Your Target Market (AYTM). In an environment where consumers prefer to save rather than spend, it looks like brand names have their biggest impact in apparel and electronics.

Respondents were asked in which categories they would be willing to pay a bit more to purchase from designers/recognizable brand names.

There were only 2 categories in which a majority of respondents claimed a willingness to shell out a premium for status:

  • Electronics (56%); and
  • Clothing/accessories (54%).

There seems to be less appetite for such purchases for home items (38%), vehicles (37%), and jewelry (35%).

Meanwhile, Amazon emerged as the favorite store for expensive and/or aspirational purchases. That’s interesting in light of an L2 prediction that Alexa will ultimately be the death of brands, as Amazon routes voice queries to its private label brands.

Returning to the AYTM survey, almost two-thirds of respondents claimed to make aspirational purchases (defined in the question as “expensive/designer/not practical”) at least a few times a year, with about half of those doing so at least a few times per quarter. A slight majority (55%) agreed that they make expensive/aspirational purchases less often now than they did 5 years ago.

But that money might be going somewhere else: experiences. Respondents were as likely to agree as disagree that they are now spending more on travel and experiences. And when asked if they would choose a designer retail purchase or an experience (like travel or going out to dinner) if given only one option, the vast majority (72%) selected experiences.

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